Voices from the Border: “It’s very hard to have rights” | Refugee and Migrant Communities in Tijuana During the Pandemic

December 16, 2021

As the Biden administration rolls out a new Remain in Mexico program in San Diego, it is crucial to consider its likely human toll in Tijuana. We hosted a webinar highlighting research from Espacio Migrante and Haitian Bridge Alliance conducted over the past year and a half and published in a report, supported by Refugees International, released on December 16th. The report analyzes the impact of enforcement policies and barriers to accessing work, housing, and services in Tijuana during the pandemic on migrants and asylum seekers—especially those who were non-Spanish speaking and Black. 

The panel featured the scholar-advocate-community organizers who authored the report on this subject and video testimonies from people interviewed in the report.


Dr. Yael Schacher, Senior U.S. Advocate, Refugees International


Tania García Barajas, Coordinator of the Legal Clinic at Espacio Migrante and professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California

April J. Mayes, Treasurer of the Board of Haitian Bridge Alliance and an associate professor of History at Pomona College 

Paulina Olvera Cáñez, Executive Director of Espacio Migrante and master’s degree candidate at University of California, San Diego focused on experiences of Haitian and African migrants in Baja California. 

Domila P. Pazzini, Board Member of Espacio Migrante pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Sciences at the State University of Campinas, Brazil focused on the mobility of Haitians who left there.

Video testimonies featuring a man Ghana and a woman from El Salvador who were interviewed for the study.  

This is Refugees International’s final event in its Voices from the Border series, an effort designed to humanize, inform, and deepen policy discussions relating to migration and protection along the U.S. southern border.