This year's All Alexandria Reads selection, Infinite Country by Patricia Engel, follows Talia as she is held in a correctional facility in Colombia after committing an impulsive act of violence. All she wans is to get to the United States where her family is waiting for her. As Talia deals with a complex immigration situation, let's explore what's really happening at the United States southern border.
Rebecca N. Eichler has over 20 years of experience practicing immigration law in the Washington DC area and providing disaster legal aid around the world. She currently lives and works in Mexico as a human rights advocate, advising deportees from the U.S, migrants in transit, and asylum seekers at the US border. For the last three years, she has been a film subject of and advisor to "Las Abogadas: Women on the Front Lines of the Migrant Crisis," a feature-length documentary coming in the fall of 2022.
In 2018, she spearheaded central Mexico’s legal aid response to the massive migrant caravans, providing individual consultations and know-your-rights presentations to hundreds of people on what to expect at the border.
She has advised individuals at the US-Mexico border in Tijuana and Matamoros on the legal requirements of asylum in the U.S. and mentally and physically prepared and walked with unaccompanied children to present themselves for U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention. She has also visited Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala as a human rights observer. Ms. Eichler has aided deported Mexicans and their U.S. citizen families in coping with their expulsion from the U.S. and establishing legal status in Mexico, a country where, despite their Mexican heritage, many have never lived.
Through her work and her own travels through Latin America, Ms. Eichler has gained a unique perspective on the systemic human rights abuses perpetrated by governments around the world - including the US government - and violations of domestic law and international asylum obligations.
Ms. Eichler is a compelling public speaker, providing insight on current immigration issues as a guest lecturer and panelist in a range of forums including PBS, law schools, and civic associations and foundations.