Drawing upon previously unpublished government data obtained through the Mexican Freedom of Information system, interviews with key Mexican officials and accounts from civil-society organizations, a new report from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) assesses Mexico’s legal framework for child protection and its treatment of unaccompanied children, from apprehension through detention and adjudication of international protection claims. The report, Strengthening Mexico’s Protection of Central American Unaccompanied Minors in Transit, finds that while Mexico has undertaken ambitious reform of its child protection system, implementation of these policies is uneven and ongoing.
Rodrigo Domínguez-Villegas, who authored the report, says that these failures of policy implementation leave the vast majority of Mexico's unaccompanied migrant children without legal protection in the face of multIple dangers. "Most unaccompanied children get deported back to the violence they were trying to escape. Less than 1 percent of all children apprehended in Mexico apply for asylum, and less than 100 children out of the 17,500 apprehended got some form of international protection."
Domínguez-Villegas is pursuing his Doctorate in Sociology at UMass Amherst, focusing on international migration, economic development, and public policy analysis. He serves as a methodology consultant at ISSR, providing consultations on spatial statistics, multiple regression methods, and the Stata, ArcGIS and GeoDa software programs.