Updates from Adam Isacson (April 30, 2024)

Hi, this is Adam. If you're receiving this message, it means you signed up on my website to receive regular updates. If you'd like to stop getting these, just follow the instructions further down.

This week's edition is pretty bare-bones. I've been doing a lot of border-migration data work in recent days, as is evident on my feeds at Mastodon and the other place. I'd like to write that up and include it in this post, but by the time I finish doing that, the "upcoming events" and "weekly update" posts will be even more terribly out of date than they already are.

It was also a week where I spent a lot of time talking to journalists—often about the data. That is a privilege and an important thing to do in this communications-heavy 2024. But it has meant less writing and blogging time, of course. I'm thankful for some great conversations in the past 10 days or so with reporters from USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, The Hill, NPR, the Financial Times, Le Monde, the Texas Tribune, the San Antonio Express-News, and CNN Español.

So this e-mail just has weekly events links (12 of them) and the weekly border update, plus links to some good readings.

Weekly U.S.-Mexico Border Update: April 26, 2024

  • Read the whole thing here. See past weekly updates here.
  • For 2024 - read our daily border links posts here. You can subscribe to the daily border links list here.


  • Mexican forces’ migration controls intensify

Mexican security and migration forces’ stepped-up operations to interdict migrants, especially in the northern border state of Chihuahua, have been suppressing the number of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, these have come with human rights complaints, and reductions are unlikely to last long as large numbers of people continue to migrate across Mexico’s southern border.

  • Ukraine aid passes Congress without border provisions attached

The House of Representatives’ April 20 passage of a Ukraine-Israel-Taiwan aid bill formally ended Republican legislators’ monthslong effort to tie strict border and migration controls to any aid outlay. That effort had foundered after a negotiated deal in the Senate failed in February. House Republican leaders allowed consideration of a separate hardline border bill on April 20; it failed but attracted five votes from centrist Democrats.

  • Panama, Guatemala, and Mexico report migrant removals

Panama reported removing 864 migrants, much of them with U.S. assistance, since April 2023. Guatemala has expelled over 7,900 migrants from other countries into Honduras and El Salvador so far this year. And Mexico has deported over 7,500 Guatemalans back to their country since January.

  • DHS shares more detail about migrants’ nationalities

An upgrade to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report includes a list of the top 100 nationalities of migrants whom Border Patrol has apprehended since 2014. The data reveal that the apprehended migrant population was 97 percent Mexican and Central American a decade ago, but only 52 percent Mexican and Central American today.

Read the whole thing here.

Support ad-free, paywall-free Weekly Border Updates. Your donation to WOLA is crucial to sustain this effort. Please contribute now and support our work.

Angela Cantador, Ángeles Mariscal, Brenda Medina, Jody Garcia, Maria Teresa Ronderos, Ronny Rojas, Crimen, Impunidad y Muerte Detras de la Migracion en Chiapas (Chiapas paralelo, CLIP, ICIJ, Plaza Pública, Telemundo, ContraCorriente (Honduras), Monday, April 29, 2024).

El corredor central chiapaneco, con dos pasos fronterizos principales, es el preferido para este tráfico brutal de personas en tractocamiones. Miles de migrantes de más de veinte nacionalidades han viajado como fantasmas hacia el norte

Martha Olivia Lopez, Testimonio de un Trailero: Como Es Traficar Migrantes a la Fuerza (ContraCorriente (Honduras), Monday, April 29, 2024).

En esta entrevista describe con detalles muy pocas veces revelados cómo funciona en la carretera el negocio del transporte clandestino de migrantes desde Michoacán hasta Tamaulipas en la frontera con Estados Unidos

Isaac Chotiner, Elliott Abrams and the Contradictions of U.S. Human-Rights Policy (The New Yorker, Monday, April 29, 2024).

The longtime State Department official and Iran-Contra player on Israel’s war in Gaza and his own record in Latin America

Alicia Florez, Lara Loaiza, The Informants of Tibu: How the Colombian State Unleashed a Wave of Femicides (InsightCrime, Wednesday, April 24, 2024).

In Tibú, dozens of women were killed, threatened, and displaced after guerrillas found out security forces were using them as informants

Juan Gabriel Tokatlian, Monica Hirst; Roberto Russell; Ana Maria Sanjuan, America Latina y el Sur Global en Tiempos Sin Hegemonias (Universidad Central de Venezuela, Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Revista Cidob D'afers Internacionals, Tuesday, April 23, 2024).

Este artículo examina el estado, la configuración futura y las formas de gestión del orden internacional, así como la inserción de América Latina en dicho orden, para comprender su fase actual y reflexionar sobre su posible carácter y evolución

(Events that I know of, anyway. All times are U.S. Eastern.)

Monday, April 29, 2024

  • 11:00-12:00 at the Wilson Center and online: Report Launch | Crypto in Venezuela: Two Sides of a Coin (RSVP required).
  • 2:00-3:00 at the Brookings Institution and online: Domestic deployment of the National Guard (RSVP required).
  • 3:00-4:30 at wilsoncenter.org: Election Series | Discussing Mexico’s Second Presidential Debate (RSVP required).

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

  • 1:00-2:30 at the Atlantic Council and atlanticcouncil.org: Homeland defense: Evolving capabilities for a new era (RSVP required).

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Friday, May 3, 2024

  • 10:00-11:15 at wilsoncenter.org: Mexico Election Series | The Future of USMCA (RSVP required).
  • 10:30-12:00 at the Inter-American Dialogue and online: Navigating Corruption: Implications for Venezuela’s Future (RSVP required).

And finally

Subscribe to Adam Isacson

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson