The right to asylum is reliant on freedom of movement and anything which interrupts that flow is not only unnatural but endangers those that are halted. When asylum seekers leave their homelands in pursuit of a safe residence, their progress is impeded when their biometrics are collected at an outpost, their personal data is obtained during a checkpoint, or their case is questioned during an asylum hearing. Each time they are stopped, the violence of the border manifests within biometric databases, surveillant technology, and VTC. 

Empowered by the economic and political influence that the US has exerted within Mexico and Central America throughout the 21st century, these components working in conjunction enable the border to transpose itself into new geographies, passing through various terrains including the migratory body itself. While free trade agreements such as NAFTA and CAFTA permit the flow of capital, labor, and goods; initiatives such as the Merida Initiative and CARSI, provide support to the forces and tools which restrict, objectify, and monitor the human populations flowing through the region. Those that wish to seek asylum are placed in precarious situations where they encounter the very kinds of violence they were escaping.

Achille Mbembe rhetorically asks, “In this era of great brutality…is it necessary to continue to stigmatize those who flee death because they seek refuge in our countries instead of stoically consenting to dying in the same place they were born?” The continuing political success of leaders espousing xenophobic and racist rhetoric in recent years has been met with public sympathy towards immigrants and protests calling for open borders and the end of ICE. However, it is essential that these sympathies are met with action supported by an awareness of the sophisticated network of securitization that migrants must navigate. If we can tune in to their silenced voices, then perhaps we can begin to dismantle the components and eliminate the agencies responsible for their endangerment.