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Haitian Migration to Tijuana, Mexico: Black Migrants and the Political Economy of Race and Migration


While the U.S., other Caribbean islands, France, and Canada have been the primary destinations of Haitian migrants over the last half-century, and, though the U.S. is still perceived as the ultimate destination, since late 2016 Haitian migrants have had to make calculated decisions about settlement in Mexico—oftentimes perceiving Mexico as a temporary site before eventual travel to the U.S. As changing immigration policies in the Americas, in response to different processes of global movement generated by the contemporary neoliberal moment, restrict and stimulate movement, these migrants often have to navigate not only domestic, but also international politics as they are in simultaneous transit and settlement. This thesis explores how anti-Black and anti-immigrant sentiments against Haitian people in Tijuana was complicated by first, Mexico’s fraught relationship with migrants from its southern neighbors en route to the U.S.; second, the form that anti-Blackness takes vis-�-vis the national racialized discourse and practice of mestizaje; and third, U.S. immigration policies. I argue that Mexican legislative responses to Haitian migration are deployed as a tool to disrupt and affirm the interrelationship between Mexican and U.S. immigration policies; and that examining Haitian migrant experiences in Tijuana allows us to think through settler colonialism and anti-Black and anti-Indigenous formations in Mexico.

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