Olayo-Méndez, SJ
alejandro.olayo.mendez's picture


Alejandro is a Jesuit Priest from the West Coast Province in the U.S. Currently, he reads for a DPhil in International Development at the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID). As a Mexican national, he has a high interest in migration through Latin America. In his current research project, titled 'Geographies of Control, Violence, and Care: Migration and Humanitarian Aid in Mexico', Alejandro explores the interaction between migrants and humanitarian aid organizations along migration routes in Mexico and the ways these interactions shape the migratory processes in the region. He is particularly interested in the intersection of humanitarian aid and migration, as well as questions regarding human rights, inequality, transit migration, meso-level structures, and the so-called 'Migration Industry'. He is supervised by Dr. Hein de Haas and Dr. Alexander Betts.


Kubal, A. and Olayo-Méndez, A. (2017) (Forthcoming) 'Mirrors of Justice? Undocumented Immigrants in Courts in the United States and Russia',  in R. Koulish & V. D. W. Maartje (eds.) Trump, Brexit and Fortress Europe. New York, Fordham University Press.

Olayo-Méndez, A (2017). La 72: an oasis along the migration routes in MexicoForced Migration Review, 56, 10-11.  

Olayo-Méndez, A (2017). Programa de La Frontera Sur and Interdiction, Peace Review, 29(1), 24-30.

Olayo-Méndez, A., Haymes, S. N., & Vidal de Haymes, M. (2014). Mexican Migration-Corridor Hospitality, Peace Review, 26(2), 209-217.

Olayo Méndez, J. A. (2006). Latino Parenting Expectations and Styles: A Literature Review, Protecting Children, 21(2), 53−61.


Olayo-Méndez, A. ‘An (In)Humane Vertical Border: The Changing Role of Humanitarian Organizations along the Mexican Migration Corridor’, XXXIV International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, New York, NY, May 27-30, 2016.

Olayo-Méndez, A. ‘An (In)Humane Vertical Border: The Role of Humanitarian Organizations along the Mexican Migration Corridor’, 57th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, Atlanta, GA, March 16-19, 2016

Olayo-Méndez, A. ‘Effects of Migration Policies in Mexico: Central American Migrants and Humanitarian Groups in the Mexican Migration Corridor’, XXXIII International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 27-30, 2015.

Olayo-Méndez, A. 'Faith-Based Humanitarian Aid in the Mexican Migration Corridor', Migration, Faith, and Action: Shifting the Discourse, Conference held at the University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K., May 8-9, 2014.

Olayo Méndez, J. A. 'Hope: A Theological Category in The Dynamics of Migration', Coloquio: Religión y Creencias en Los Procesos de Migración, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, September 28-30, 2011.

Key works

Migration, Transit Migration, Refugees, Humanitarian Aid, Humanitarianism, Human Rights, Latin America, Migration Industry

Educational history

Alejandro holds an MSc in Migration Studies from Oxford University.  In his thesis 'Refining the Concept of the Migration Industry: The Emergence of a Humanitarian Aid Network in the Mexican', he makes a case for considering humanitarian aid as part of the migration industry by focusing on the functional aspects of it.  He also holds a Master of Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Divinity (Theology) from Boston College.

Alejandro is pursuing a DPhil in International Development at the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID). Apart of being a researcher, Alejandro is a Jesuit Catholic Priest.


Professionally, he counseled immigrant families in Chicago; conducted research for Jesuit Service to Migrants and the US Jesuit Conference in the Mexican Migration Corridor; and worked for Jesuit Refugee Services in Colombia and India.

His expertise focuses on migration from Central America and Mexico to the U.S., Humanitarian Aid and Refugee studies. From a Theological Perspective his expertise focuses on the intersection of Theology and Migration, Catholic Social Teaching, and Social Justice.