Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Migration Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


Migration Studies

First Advisor

Prof. Bill O. Hing


International human rights laws are critical to ensuring a minimum protection level for those migrating to other nations across the globe. Despite intense efforts by the United States to sidestep such policies while misrepresenting their repeated violations of human rights now taking place at the U.S.-Mexico border, these policies remain in full force in the global governance community. The actions of the Trump administration and others clearly indicate the need for political intervention to ensure such rights are maintained. Using qualitative content analysis and participatory observation, this article reviews the effectiveness of thematic hearings, under the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in advocating for the abolition of U.S. immigration policies that have resulted in grave human rights violations. Overall, this study finds that the Inter-American System is still today, a tool used by the United States government to police Latin American countries. Moreover, it finds that the two main factors preventing thematic hearings from being effective at producing policy change are: (1) A socio-cultural gap between both the Inter-American System and civil society organizations, and the migrant population in the region; and (2) The United States using the principle of sovereignty to implement unfair immigration policies and justify interventionist measures in Mexico and Central America.