The current administration’s relentless efforts to attack migrant and border communities has resulted in the further militarization of border communities, contributing to an increase in the number of migrants detained at ports of entry, on public streets and highways, at court, and while working. Enforcement operations have also been rampant in between the ports of entry, along the physical border wall, and in the interior of the US. In FY 2019, there were an average 48,850 migrants detained per month, with the average length of stay at 36.2 days. During this same period, the average length of stay at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego was 87 days. More than 267,000 migrants were deported in FY2019 alone.
AFSC’s US-Mexico Border Program has compiled a report that analyzes the way in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers identify, arrest, and detain migrants in San Diego County. The report also discusses the resiliency of migrant workers and looks at how community organizing and advocacy can be cathartic and provide relief from the trauma of having gone through a violent immigration enforcement experience. The recommendations in the report provide guidance on how to move away from an enforcement only approach to migration and migrant workers.