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Central America/Mexico Migrant News Brief for April 18, 2016

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A compilation of this week’s top articles and reports related to issues of migration from Central America and Mexico (articles in English and Spanish).

Spotlight on DAPA/DACA SCOTUS Case

•  [Video; English] Everything You Need to Know About United States v. Texas
[Video; Español] Todo lo que debes de saber sobre el caso United States v. Texas
Lizet Ocampo, Tom Jawetz, Andrew Satter, Kulsum Ebrahim, Center for American Progress, April 14, 2016
“A ruling in favor of Texas could threaten to tear apart millions of American families, while dealing a serious blow to national, state, and local economies. Here, in two minutes, is everything you need to know about what is at stake in this hearing.”

•  After A Year and a Half, President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration to Get Day in Court
Voto Latino, Medium, April 12, 2016
“[Now] the Supreme Court is set to hear U.S. v. Texas, a historic case that will determine if these initiatives will be allowed to move forward. Thousands of people will be outside the Supreme Court urging the justices to rule on the right side of history, confirm the President’s sound legal authority, and reflect the values and dignity of the immigrant community in America.”

•  Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Immigrant Deportation Policy – Live Blog
Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2016
“Welcome to our live blog of today’s oral argument on President Obama’s immigration policy. Your main voices today will be Jess Bravin, Brent Kendall and Louise Radnofsky, who are all at the court today.”

•  How Texas Has Doomed Its Own Lawsuit Against Obama’s Immigration Policies
Tom Jawetz, ThinkProgress, April 18, 2016
“In other words, Texas no longer questions whether DHS can allow low-priority unauthorized immigrants to remain in the country temporarily. Instead, Texas insists that they must not be allowed to work legally while they are allowed to be here.”

•  Activists Rally outside of Supreme Court as Justices Hear Immigration Arguments
Rebecca Shabad, CBS News, April 18, 2016
“Activists supporting President Obama’s executive actions on immigration rallied outside of the Supreme Court Monday morning as the justices heard oral arguments in the case that challenges them.”

•  Inmigrantes preparan manifestación frente a la Corte Suprema durante audiencia sobre Acción Ejecutiva
Jorge Cancino, Univision Noticias, 5 de abril de 2016
“Organizaciones y sindicatos movilizarán el 18 de abril más de 2,500 inmigrantes que califican para DACA y DAPA, programas que fueron frenados por los tribunales tras una demanda de 26 estados, 24 de ellos gobernados por republicanos.”

•  Supreme Court Seems Split on Obama’s Immigration Plan
Adam Liptak and Michael Shear, The New York Times, April 18, 2016
“The Supreme Court on Monday seemed sharply divided during an extended argument over a challenge to President Obama’s plan that would shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation and allow them to work in the country legally.”
 
•  Supreme Court Ruling on Immigration May Spur More Challenges
Richard Wolf, USA Today, April 13, 2016
“President Obama’s last-ditch effort to offer more than 4 million undocumented immigrants protection from deportation reaches a short-handed Supreme Court on Monday, but the eight justices may not have the final word.”

•  Beneficiario de DAPA fue deportado y asesinado días después en Honduras
Jorge Cancino, Univision Noticias, 7 de abril de 2016
“La hondureña Dania Palma será uno de los cientos de inmigrantes que el 18 de abril asistirá a la audiencia pública sobre la Acción Ejecutiva que está siendo revisada por la Corte Suprema de Justicia. . . . [Su] marido fue deportado en agosto y asesinado en septiembre del 2015 por una banda criminal en Honduras.”

•  Ponen rostro al drama de padres indocumentados
Isaias Alvarado, La Opinión, 12 de abril de 2016
“Se calcula que medio millón de los indocumentados en el condado de Los Ángeles aprovecharían los alivios migratorios pendientes.”

*See the transcript of the oral arguments here.

Root Causes

•  Central America Sees Big Rise in Refugees Seeking Asylum
Elyssa Pachico, InSight Crime, April 6, 2016
“Violence in Central America has prompted a spike in the number of refugees from the isthmus seeking asylum, raising the question of how countries in the region can confront this seemingly interminable crisis.”

•  UNHCR Calls for Urgent Action as Central America Asylum Claims Soar
UNHCR, April 5, 2016
“Action is urgently needed to ensure that unaccompanied children and others receive the protection to which they are entitled,” UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards told a press briefing in Geneva. He detailed that last year alone 3,423 people, most of them from El Salvador and Honduras, sought asylum in Mexico. This was 164 per cent increase over 2013 and a 65 per cent increase since 2014.

•  Files Suggest Honduran Police Leaders Ordered Killing of Antidrug Officials
Elisabeth Malkin and Alberto Arce, The New York Times, April 15, 2016
“New documents paint a chilling portrait of impunity at the very top of Honduras’s police hierarchy: the unchallenged power to carry out assassinations.”

•  Tres generales y un cartel: violencia policial e impunidad en Honduras
Alberto Arce, The New York Times, 15 de abril de 2016
“Los generales Salomón Escoto Salinas, José Francisco Murillo López y José Luis Muñoz Licona. Se reunieron para planear, ordenar y ejecutar el asesinato del General Julián Arístides González, según un informe interno de la policía.”

•  Tres miradas sobre la política de drogas
Daniela Rea y Mónica González, Pie de Página, 18 de abril de 2016
“Washington ha sido clave en la historia de América Latina, desde las intervenciones militares que patrocina hasta su aval para salvar economías en riesgo. Pero poco se habla de su responsabilidad directa en dos de los mayores problemas de la región: Uno, el flujo de migrantes que abandonaron sus países cuando la Casa Blanca y el Kremlin jugaron a la guerra fría en Centroamérica. Y dos, la penalización de las drogas.”

•  Por qué hay niñas en Nicaragua que temen ir al baño en la escuela
BBC Mundo, Animal Político, 4 de abril de 2016
“‘En los baños (de algunas escuelas) existe el riesgo de violación de niñas’, asegura a BBC Mundo Johana Chévez, asesora de género de Plan Internacional. ‘No siempre hay puerta, no siempre son higiénicos, a veces están cerca los de los niños y los de las niñas’, explica”.

•  Family of Slain Activist Asks U.S. to Cut Off Aid to Honduras
Franco Ordoñez, The Sacramento Bee, April 5, 2016
“They’re calling on the United States to cut off millions in aid to Honduras until human rights defenders receive proper protection. Cutting the purse strings, they hope, would force the Honduran government to accept an independent international investigation into Cáceres’ murder.”

•  Victims Of A Gang War Rooted In Los Angeles Now Fleeing To The U.S. In Mass
Beenish Ahmed, ThinkProgress, April 13, 2016
“Threats to police officers and their families have become increasingly common as the death toll from the gang war in El Salvador rises to the same level of violence as its bloody civil war. In 2015, the country saw more homicides than any country in the world outside of war zones. There were 2,000 killings in the first three months of this year alone — more than the same period last year.”

•  How Central America Can Make the Most of a $750 Million U.S. Aid Package
Victor Umaña, Americas Quarterly
“The passage of a $750 million U.S. aid package for Central America is an example of the collaboration needed to end violence and rebuild society in the Northern Triangle. As policymakers spend these funds, having the right data to inform spending will be crucial.”

•  ‘I Want to Go Back’: In Guatemala, US-Born Kids Struggle After Their Parents’ Deportation
Katya Cengel, Vice News, April, 13, 2016
“Amavilia and Edison, however, are part of a group of children making the opposite journey: American-born kids who end up back in Guatemala – and in Mexico and other Central American countries – after their undocumented parents are deported from the US.”

•  Deadly Deal
Alfredo Corchado and Kevin Krause, The Dallas Morning News, April 14, 2016
“A plea agreement between a Mexican drug kingpin and the U.S. government helped generate a violent split between two drug cartels that led to the deaths of thousands of people in Mexico and along the Texas border, a Dallas Morning News investigation has found.”

•  Billions in US Remittances a Lifeline for Many in Mexico
Associated Press, The New York Times, April 5, 2016
“For families across Mexico, the transfers help put food on the table and clothe children. They can make it possible to start a small business, put an addition on a cinderblock home or buy a secondhand truck to use on a farm.”

Mexican Enforcement

•  En dos años aumentó 330 por ciento la migración de menores no acompañados
Georgina Saldierna, La Jornada, 7 de abril de 2016
“Para atender el fenómeno migratorio de manera seria se requiere de buenos diagnósticos y particularmente de sensibilidad social para valorar la contribución de la población migrante a los países de origen, tránsito, destino y crecientemente de retorno, puntualizó Ruiz Massieu en la cancillería”.

•  #Másde72: Las dudas de Jovita
Marcela Turati, Proceso, 7 de abril de 2016
“En diciembre de 2012 funcionarios de la PGR le entregaron a la familia Gallegos dos urnas con las supuestas cenizas de sus parientes Luis Miguel e Israel, cuyos cadáveres fueron hallados casi dos años antes en las fosas de San Fernando. Jovita y María Guadalupe, madre y hermana de los muchachos, recibieron las urnas y las enterraron… pero no están seguras de que hayan sido los restos de sus familiares.”

•  [Video] México detuvo a 36,000 niños migrantes no acompañados en 2015 y sólo otorgó asilo a 150 de ellos
Univision, 5 de abril de 2016
“Desde que EEUU presiona para intensificar las detenciones de los migrantes que llegan a la frontera, México ha incumplido sus leyes de menores migrantes no acompañados”.

•  Why Is Mexico Deporting Children and Indigenous Citizens?
Llowell Williams, Care2, April 7, 2016
“The National Immigration Institute, activists say, deports migrants based on secret quotas included in the so-called Southern Border Plan. As such, Mexican authorities have taken some extreme actions to meet their target numbers.”

U.S. Enforcement

•  Separadas por una frontera política
Ana Cristina Ramos, Pie de Página, 17 de abril de 2016
“Cada año miles de mujeres migrantes son obligadas a abandonar a sus hijos en Estados Unidos. Muchas intentan una y otra vez volver a su lado, sin éxito. Pero otras lo consiguen. Ésta es la historia de una de ellas, Mirna Lazcano, y la crónica de su reencuentro a mitad de un puente fronterizo.”

•  ICE Agents Are Arresting Teens on their Way to School
Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, ThinkProgress, April 14, 2016
“According to a document pulled together by numerous Durham- and Charlotte-area teachers and obtained by ThinkProgress, otherwise stellar immigrant students have taken numerous absences, have dropped out of school completely, or have been suspended from school for having their cell phones out during class because they wanted to make sure that their family and friends were safe.”

•  Hundreds of Migrant Teens Are Being Held Indefinitely in Locked Detention
Tyche Hendricks, KQED, April 11, 2016
“The vast majority of those kids spend about a month in a licensed ORR-funded shelter, and then they’re placed with a relative or another sponsor while they await their day in immigration court. But a small fraction – roughly 500 to 700 in any given year – are placed in jail-like settings: locked group homes or juvenile detention facilities, as Pablo has been.”

•  This Is What Happens When Unaccompanied Child Migrants Don’t Have Legal Help
Adolfo Flores, Buzzfeed News, April 7, 2016
“When it comes to unaccompanied migrant children facing deportation, the difference between the haves and the have-nots is stark. Those who get pro bono legal representation early on, like Yeisy, are far more likely to successfully make their case for asylum or other protections that would allow them to stay in the U.S. Those who don’t almost always get deported.”

•  Does ICE Pressure Schools for Student Info?
Emily Von Hoffmann, The Atlantic, April 11, 2016
“Recent immigrants, many of whom were unaccompanied minors and families among those who entered in 2014 during the so-called border crisis, are now first in line for deportation next to gang members, terrorists, and felons. In practice, this means that undocumented youths who attend public schools become targets when they turn 18.”

•  Border Patrol Now Takes Spanish Complaints, after Criticism
Gustavo Solis, The Desert Sun, April 14, 2016
“By creating a formal Spanish-speaking online grievance filing program in December, CBP increased the number of bilingual operators and expanded services. The program came after an advisory group’s report criticized the CBP for its lack of transparency and risks of corruption.”

•  Mexican Nationals Say They Were Deported Without Their IDs, Money And Possessions
Elise Foley, The Huffington Post, April 6, 2016
“Twenty-six Mexican nationals say the U.S. government deported them without their identification, money, cell phones and other possessions, putting them in danger by making it difficult or nearly impossible to contact family or get back to their home cities.”

•  Lawsuit Seeks Lower Bail for Poor Detainees in U.S. Deportation Cases
Alex Dobuzinskis, Reuters, April 7, 2016
“U.S. immigration officials should make bail more affordable for poor migrants detained ahead of deportation proceedings and who are not considered likely to abscond, a civil rights group said in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.”

•  4 Things You Should Know About Border Patrol Abuses
The United We Dream Policy and Advocacy Team, April 4, 2016
“Here are some things you should know about what’s happening with CBP and why immigrant communities are fighting back.”

•  This Lawmaker Had Dinner with an Undocumented Family. He Wants Republicans to Follow Suit.
Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, ThinkProgress, April 7, 2016
“The dinner, sponsored by the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights, allowed the Pinto family to highlight how they could contribute more to American society if the president’s executive action on immigration formally announced in November 2014 were allowed to take place.”

•  Tucson Border Agents’ Use-of-Force Incidents at 58 Cases, Report Says
Perla Trevizo, Arizona Daily Star, April 7, 2016
“Customs and Border Protection released sector-specific use of force statistics today, six months after reporting national numbers. The largest law enforcement agency in the country will also update the number of incidents on a monthly basis, broken down by sector and by branch.”

•  Now or Never: Trump’s Mexico Wall Threat Encourages Migration to US
Tom Dart, The Guardian, April 5, 2016
“If the Republican candidate’s supporters might be delighted that some in Central America are treating the prospect of a wall-raising President Trump with high seriousness, in the short term it appears his rhetoric may be encouraging – not dissuading – migrants to head north to escape poverty and violence.”

•  How the White House Went Easy on Drug Crime-But Not for Immigrants
Grace Meng, Politico Magazine, April 05, 2016
“Deportations have gone way up for many legal residents convicted of minor drug possession.”

•  Undocumented College Students Share How Deportation Relief Changed Their Lives
Ted Hesson, Vice News, April 6, 2016
“As we approach the four-year anniversary of the DACA program, VICE interviewed Aguiluz and four other “DACA-mented” young people who will graduate from college this spring.”

New Reports and Resources

•  [English] IACHR Presents Report on Violence, Children, and Organized Crime
[Español] CIDH presenta informe sobre violencia, niñez y crimen organizado
IACHR, April 6, 2016
“The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presents a regional report on violence and other violations of rights to which children and adolescents fall victim in contexts in which organized crime and violent or criminal groups operate.”

•  +de 72 segunda entrega
“En abril de 2011 en 47 fosas clandestinas de San Fernando, Tamaulipas, fueron encontrados 196 cadáveres: la mayoría eran de viajeros o migrantes interceptados en la carretera por Los Zetas, en complicidad con policías. Esta segunda entrega de #Másde72 presenta información forense que pudiera servir para identificar cadáveres, revela nombres de desaparecidos en ese sitio y evidencia los mecanismos de impunidad que permiten que las masacres continúen”.

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*The Central America/Mexico Migrant News Brief is a selection of relevant news articles, all of which do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Latin America Working Group.