Bordering Through Exemption: Extracontinental Migration Flows in Mexico


This paper examines Mexico’s governmentality of extracontinental migration in transit to the United States. It argues that, in the context of transit control regimes, exemption is instrumentalised as a bordering mechanism and practice in which transit states assume, react and utilise their role as a ‘transit’ country. By drawing on statistical information about migrant populations from Asia and Africa intercepted by Mexican authorities from 2010 to 2019, four arrangements are identified: (1) sporadic expulsion, (2) regularisation façade, (3) guardianship and (4) self-deportation. The analysis sheds light on the transformative and adaptive dimension of the Mexican Transit Control Regime and how this is geared towards maintaining its focus on intercepting and deterring Central American migrants in transit to the United States.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2021-09-01
Pages:30 to 40
Section:Special Issue: Transforming Borders and the Discretionary Politics of Migration
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How to Cite
Campos-Delgado, A. . (2021) “Bordering Through Exemption: Extracontinental Migration Flows in Mexico”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(3), pp. 30-40. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.2039.
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Author Biography

Leiden University

Amalia Campos-Delgado is Postdoc/Lecturer at the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society at Leiden University. Her research focuses on the Transit Control Regime established in Mexico to detain and deter irregular migration in transit to the United States. She holds a BA in Anthropology, a MRes in Sociocultural Studies, and a PhD in Politics from Queen’s University Belfast. During 2019 was Postdoctoral Fellow at the International Centre for Comparative Criminology at the Univeristé de Montréal. The results of her work have been published in the Revue Eropéenne des Migrations Internationales, International Migration, Mobilities, Migration Studies, The British Journal of Criminology, and other peer-reviewed journals.