Mexico: Karen Perez, Working with Those Who have Given Up
09 June 2020
Karen knows well the struggles that asylum seekers face in Mexico as they petition for safety and struggle day-today to make ends meet. She has lived in Tapachula since 2015 and has been with JRS since 2018, coordinating JRS Mexico’s legal assistance team, which consists of four full-time lawyers.
“I act as a liaison between asylum seekers and the Mexican government as we provide legal assistance to those in detention and individuals who seek assistance at our office,” Karen said.
US policies have had a significant impact on the Mexican response to those who arrive at their border, making things very difficult. The implementation of MPP put a stop to people heading north, and the Mexican government no longer offers humanitarian visas to asylum seekers, which limits their ability to move around the country. “Many MPP cases have been sent back to Tapachula, but most have given up on their claims to seek asylum in the US,” Karen said. “It was too difficult, and they are too mentally and physically tired.”
Read more stories of those seeking safety in JRS/USA’s report Stranded: The Impact of US Policies on Asylum Seekers and join June 18 us for a live virtual event with discussion from experts on these policies and the current issues at the US-Mexico border.