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Tracing Mobility and Care Trajectories: An Ethnographic Approach to Migrants and Asylum Seekers’ Experiences in the Border Region

Olga Odgers Ortiz (El Colegio de la Frontera Norte) and Thomas J. Csordas (UC San Diego)


This collaborative project focuses on people whose migration project was interrupted and find themselves immobilized in the U.S.-Mexico border region due to current migration policies. These migrants comprise two main groups in Tijuana and San Diego: a) people waiting in Mexico to cross into the US with or without documents, and b) asylum seekers waiting either in Mexico or the US for their court processes. Using qualitative methodology the work examines the situations lived by individuals facing particular vulnerable conditions, and analyzes the transborder character of this region with respect to the circulation of health care resources, products and health care service providers. In particular, the analysis aims to identify interactions among biomedical health services, self-care practices, and alternative health resources. This project includes the collaboration of Olga Olivas (UCSD and El Colegio de la Frontera Norte), Ietza Bojorquez (El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Janis Jenkins (UCSD), and the TASET research team (UCSD). The research is funded by a grant from the Programa de Investigacion en Migracion y Salud (PIMSA).