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Transit States to Destination Nations: Mexican and Moroccan Asylum Policies

By: Stephanie Evans

Much of the literature surrounding immigration and asylum analyzes the policies adopted by highly developed nations like the United States and countries in the European Union. However, as these nations’ policies become increasingly restrictive, more migrants are turning towards neighboring nations that are easier to access but that have less developed immigration and asylum systems. Mexico and Morocco are two such nations. Historically, each has been a transit state—a nation that migrants traveled through in order to reach other states. However, both Mexico and Morocco are becoming destination nations. Social science scholarship has analyzed and compared changes in Mexico’s and Morocco’s immigration and emigration trends; however, little analysis exists comparing the legal mechanisms and structures of these nations’ asylum systems. This Note seeks to fill that gap in the literature by providing an overview of (1) the United States’ impact on Mexican immigration policy, (2) Spain’s and the EU’s impact on Moroccan emigration and immigration policy, (3) Mexico’s and Morocco’s current asylum system structures, and (4) the international framework driving asylum policy. This Note then provides a series of recommendations and analyzes their effectiveness for altering the international conventions, statutory law, and agencies so Mexico and Morocco can better protect vulnerable migrants as each becomes a destination nation.


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