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The following report is from a year-long investigation by M.A. students at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin in collaboration with FM4 Paso Libre, a civil society organization based in Guadalajara, Jalisco that is dedicated to the defense and promotion of migrant and refugees’ human rights through comprehensive humanitarian assistance, advocacy, and research. The project emerged from a shared binational interest and concern for pressing public policy challenges related to migration, and the direct impact that these challenges have on migrants, refugees, and civil society.
The Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) participated in the project through the pioneering Research Center, which studies migration throughout Mexico and works closely with FM4 Paso Libre. COLEF`s involvement in this project created the possibility to continue fostering greater understanding around migration, provide information for decision makers working on these topics, and sensitize communities regarding migration.
The project and corresponding travel and field research was made possible by the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law and the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
Table of Contents
Table of Acronyms
Chapter 1: Central American Migration in Mexico
Violence and Displacement
Sexual- and Gender-Based Violence
Chapter 2: Mexico’s Protection System for Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adolescents
2011 Migratory Act
2014 General Law on the Rights of Children and Adolescents
Role of States in Federal Protection Laws
Federal Immigration Agencies
The National DIF System
Attorney General for the Protection of Girls, Boys, and Adolescents (National PPNNA)
Chapter 3: State Level Policies for Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adolescents
DIF Shelters for Unaccompanied Minors
State Level Programs for Unaccompanied Minors
Chapter 4: Structural Challenges Within the Federal and State Systems
Best Interest Assessment
DIF Shelter Challenges
DIF Legal Framework
Processing Through COMAR
Structural Challenges at the State Level
Challenges in Reaching Unaccompanied Minor Populations
Chapter 5: Recommendations