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Tracing Asylum-Seeker’s Experience & Trajectories  (TASET)

Thomas J. Csordas (PI)

This project seeks to better understand the health and psychosocial wellbeing of forced migrants and other displaced people who, at one point or another along their journeys, come across the US-Mexico border. In particular, our ethnography of care investigates sites and services operated by government and local non-profit organizations that provide care for asylum seekers at various stages throughout transit and resettlement. Our aims are 1) to document the transborder network of care for refugees and asylum seekers (which are made up of, but not limited to, physicians and other care workers; the volunteers and staff of both social justice or faith-driven community based groups providing reception or resettlement support; and lawyers, advocates, and policy makers concerned with immigrant rights who provide legal aid); and 2) to gain a better understanding of asylum seekers’ trajectories (along registers of geography, life course/well-being, and immigration status) once they are reasonably settled with their familial point of contact at their final destination in the United States. TASET will contribute to the development of sustained local, binational partnerships that can provide assessment of mental health needs and facilitate access to ethical, person-centered care for all as pressing matters of human rights and social justice occuring in one of the world's most trafficked border regions. The TASET team includes Alexis Burnstan BA, Cristina Calderon BA, Tiana McMann MA, Benjamin Merrill MA, and Brenda Wilson Ph.D. The research is funded by grants from the UC San Diego Academic Senate and PIMSA.