The Implications of Migration Governance and Colonial Structures in Humanitarian Organisations in Mexico
Non-government organisations (NGOs) have emerged in Mexico to support migrants while also cooperating with governmental institutions. Based on nine months of fieldwork, this paper explores the ambivalences within humanitarian organisations that aid migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. First, this article suggests that organisations engage in practices of mistrust and policing of migrants that do not align with their intention to safeguard them. Second, it argues that NGOs facilitate instances of paternalism to control migrants in their shelters and further subordinate them. Finally, it addresses how local organisations and shelters resolved the duality of care and control by punishing migrants. NGOs are drawn to reinforce the power structures that govern global migration. This is often in contradiction to their caring and supportive roles. As a result, NGOs replicate entrenched racialising discourse, power inequalities and control over mobile subjects.
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