Stephanie Leutert

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Stephanie Leutert is the Director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin. She writes for Beyond the Border, a Strauss Center and Lawfare collaboration, and provides an in depth look at security and migration challenges in Mexico and Central America.

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Border Security

The Invisible Caravans

The sun was setting over the southern Mexican highway that hugs the Guatemala-Mexico border. Any tourists sitting along the road might have taken a photo or commented to one another on the picturesque rural backdrop. Yet it barely registered for the four Hondurans with whom I was traveling. “You pass through so many beautiful places as you move through Mexico,” José said to me as he waved toward the sunset, “but you are usually too tired or miserable to enjoy it.”

Immigration

A 'Safe Third Country' Agreement With Mexico Won’t Fix U.S. Migratory Challenges

The Trump administration’s efforts to establish a “zero tolerance policy” prosecuting all irregular border-crossers ended in high-profile disarray but the fallout continues. Months after the president signed an executive order halting the family separations that his administration had implemented, more than 500 children still wait to be reunited with their parents.

Immigration

What Are the Legal Pathways for Central Americans to Enter the U.S.?

The conventional wisdom about immigration suggests that the migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border are cheating the system, “skipping the line” or otherwise blatantly breaking the rules. The United States is a country of laws, the thinking goes, and hopeful migrants should not be allowed to enter unless they do so legally. But what are these legal options?