19. The Different Treatment of Asylum Seekers at the U.S. Mexican Border – A Talk with Ginger Cline from Al Otro Lado


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On the 19th episode of Immigration Today! Angeline Chen welcomes Ginger Cline. Ginger is a Staff Attorney Justice Fellow for Al Otro Lado's Tijuana office. Al Otro Lado is a bi-national advocacy and legal aid organization serving migrants, refugees and deportees in the United States and Mexico. Ginger’s focus is on supporting African and Haitian asylum seekers by advocating for their release from detention and assisting with their asylum applications. In addition, she advises individuals fighting their asylum cases from Tijuana under the Remain in Mexico program. Prior to joining Al Otro Lado, she represented Central American asylum seekers through the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, served as Co-President of the Harvard Immigration Project, and interned for a semester at the Boston Immigration Court. During her law school summers, Ginger interned at RAICES Texas, where she represented asylum seeking women detained at the Karnes Detention Center, and at HIAS Kenya where she submitted resettlement applications on behalf of refugees in Nairobi.

In this episode Ginger goes into detail about her background, her educational journey and how she landed in Tijuana advocating for immigrant rights. Her passion for immigrant rights began as an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan where she would volunteer at Freedom House, which is a temporary home for asylum seekers in Detroit. She quickly learned how difficult it was for people to navigate the asylum system in the U.S. She eventually obtained her M.A. in International Relations from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, an M.Sc. in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Ginger also goes into detail about how the Ukrainian war has affected her work at the U.S. Mexican border, the differences she has noticed in the treatment of Black asylum seekers, and we also learn about Tittle 42 – a policy implemented using COVID-19 as an excuse to close the border only for asylum seekers. Ginger explains how this has affected her work with Al Otro Lado and what she predicts will happen now that Tittle 42 was set to be lifted on May 23rd.

Al Otro Lado is vigorously working at the border to advocate for the rights of asylum seekers and they rely on the volunteer work and donations of listeners like you. Please consider giving a donation on their website here or sign up to volunteer here. Give them a follow on Facebook, Instagram and Linked In.

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