Date of Award

Spring 5-24-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science


Political Science & International Relations


Dr. Andrew Tirrell


Immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, walls and security, and drug trafficking, are among the most deliberated policy issues in the U.S.’s political climate. As a result, policies and international cooperation concerning environmental health impacts at the border are often overlooked, particularly in the Tijuana-San Diego border region. These impacts include contamination and overuse of water by maquiladoras, air pollution from concentrated border transit and power plants, and the heightening threat of global warming. However, as climate change worsens and immigration problems grow, this wide range of environmental hazards demand ambitious policy considerations, especially in the Tijuana-San Diego border region. In this project, I analyze environmental health and environmental justice at the Tijuana-San Diego border. I specifically focus on air and water quality and their subsequent health impacts for populations in this region. These populations include permanent residents on both sides of the border, commuters, and groups of migrants forced to stay in temporary camps awaiting asylum processes. I provide an analysis of air and water pollution and the extent to which they cause health problems, as well as how these uniquely affect an increased concentration of migrants during the Trump era. My thesis offers insight on areas for policy improvement and cross-border solutions that encourage and maintain an environmentally just region for all populations.