Author: Emma Buckhout
We know you share our concern for children and families fleeing Central America as gang violence increases, homicide numbers climb, corruption scandals break, and environmental crises worsen. So we’ll keep this short: It’s time for Congress and President Obama to show they do too—click here to tell them to support protection for Central American children and families fleeing violence>>
The humanitarian crisis that drove 68,000 unaccompanied children from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico to the United States last year is far from over—while fewer children and families are arriving at the U.S. southern border this year, thousands continue to flee increasing violence, forced gang recruitment, sexual assault, and extortion in Central America. Meanwhile, Mexico has dramatically increased its apprehensions of Central American migrants by 70% in the last year. Statistics reveal that migrants are frequently the subjects of human rights abuses including extortion, kidnapping, human trafficking, sexual assault and other crimes, at both the hands of organized crime and corrupt officials.
Since the majority of mothers and children arriving in the U.S have revealed credible fear of returning to their homes and real protection needs, we are concerned that with the rapid surge of militarized enforcement in Mexico, these same children and families aren’t receiving the screening and protection they need. Instead thousands of vulnerable mothers and children are being detained and deported back to the danger they fled.
Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ) has written a letter to President Obama urging him to work with Mexico to improve the conditions on its southern border and ensure women and children who are escaping violence in Central America have access to the fair treatment they deserve. Instead of supporting increased immigration enforcement in Mexico, it calls on our policymakers to support efforts to build capacity and accountability within Mexico’s immigration, child and refugee protection agencies. To make sure this message is heard loud and clear, we need more members of Congress to add their name before the letter closes tomorrow, Wednesday, October 28th.
P.S. Have you signed our petition? Join us in urging President Obama to stop encouraging Mexico to do the U.S.’s dirty work, and support protection for vulnerable children, women and men fleeing violence in Central America.