Hostile immigration enforcement policies and anti-immigrant actions against refugees and asylum seekers are causing trauma to migrant families and exposing them to dangerous living conditions on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. In recent years, stress from the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the negative effects of these policies on the health of migrants.
This policy brief outlines a conversation held with Dr. Alfonso Mercado, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine. He has conducted extensive clinical work in migrant tent encampments at the U.S.-Mexico border, and on Feb. 28, 2023, he met with migration policy experts and community leaders to discuss the detrimental mental health effects of the ongoing migrant crisis there. The conversation focused on the impact of key policies, such as the use of Title 42 on migrants' mental health and well-being.