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Central America/Mexico Migrant News Brief for March 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).

See: Root Causes; Mexican Enforcement; U.S. Enforcement; New Reports and Resources.

Root Causes

•   Central America Is Officially a Campaign Issue Again. Now It’s Time to Get Smart about It
Tim Rogers, Fusion, March 11, 2016
“While Sanders was right to lament the awful levels of violence in Honduras…El Salvador, which has the highest murder rate in the world, has been in a downward spiral for several years, and is now contemplating the idea of implementing martial law— a move that would be a tragic and irreversible step towards becoming a failed state.”

•   Central America Prepares for Flood of U.S. Aid
USA Today, WHAS, March 10, 2016
“When asked how his city can benefit from incoming U.S. aid, a police commander in El Salvador says, ‘Youth programs….There are 50,000 children here and they don’t have opportunities to be educated, to learn or even places to play. Even if they study, there’s nothing for them to do.’”

•   Fellow Honduran Activist Nelson García Murdered Days after Berta Cáceres
Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, March 16, 2016
“The murder of another member of Berta Cáceres’ activist organisation Copinh comes amid growing fears for the safety of her colleagues and family members.”

•   En México, 397 agresiones contra periodistas y 8 asesinatos en 2015
AFP, La Jornada, 17 de marzo de 2016
“Según la organización, el 2015 ha sido el año más crítico desde 2009 en lo que se refiere a agresiones de libertad de expresión, que aumentaron 21.8% en relación a 2014”.

•   One Step Forward for Central America: The Plan for the Alliance for Prosperity
Manuel Orozco, Inter-American Dialogue, March 16, 2016
“The plan is an essential stepping stone to prioritize the region, and thus is an effort that deserves to be strengthened and not to repeat past mistakes.  For example, the continued focus on tackling insecurity signals that security and antinarcotics are prioritized over development.”

•   Cinco marinos enfrentarán cargos por desaparición forzada en Nuevo León
Animal Politico, 13 de marzo de 2016
“Humberto del Bosque Villarreal, fue desaparecido el 3 de agosto de 2013 en el poblado de Colombia, Nuevo León, fue encontrado con un disparo en la nuca a escasos kilómetros del campamento de la Marina en el municipio de Anáhuac, casi dos meses después”.

•   Aumenta la violencia sexual en México en 5 años
Juan Omar Fierro, El Universal, 15 de marzo de 2016
“Se registran 3 millones de ataques, lo que equivale a 600 mil for año: CEAV; la cifra negra de estos ilícitos se estima en un millón 414 mil 627 abusos”.

•   Ataques sexuales sin consecuencias: en México sólo 3 de cada 100 se castigan
Arturo Angel, Animal Político, 16 de marzo de 2016
“Un diagnóstico evidencia fallas estructurales en el combate a este delito en el país. El seguimiento de las víctimas es deficiente, los delitos en cada estado no están homologados, se consignan menos de la mitad de los casos”.

•   Central American Leaders Launch Initiative To Tackle Drug Violence, Extreme Poverty
Michael Marshall, United Press International, March 15, 2016
“Five former Central American presidents on Tuesday called for a regional political process to tackle the growing income inequality and extreme violence that are destabilizing the region. Speaking at the Organization of American States, they proposed reviving the process that brought an end to decades of civil conflict in Central America in 1986-87.”

Mexican Enforcement

•   Hacia el reconocimiento de los derechos de migrantes en México: especialistas en el Colson
Dossier Politico, 16 de marzo de 2016
“Ana Gilma Argüeta Cifuentes del Centro Comunitario de Atención al Migrante y Necesitado en Altar, Sonora; destacó que en un periodo de 4 años se han presentado 383 denuncias y en ese lapso tan solo se han averiguado 96 y  de esas 4 han resultado con consecuencias para los perpetradores de abuso hacia los migrantes”.

•   Relación México-EU por encima de discursos y personas: Osorio Chong
Susana Guzman, El Financiero, 16 de marzo de 2016
“Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, secretario de Gobernación, estuvo en Estados Unidos en reunión con el secretario de Seguridad Interna de Estados Unidos, Jeh Johnson”.

•   La burocracia desaparece cadáveres
Marcela Turati, Proceso, 10 de marzo de 2016
“Un migrante salvadoreño desapareció en Tamaulipas en 2011. Su madre comenzó a buscarlo y supo que zetas y policías municipales lo habían asesinado. Supo luego que lo sepultaron junto con otros 67 cuerpos en una fosa común de San Fernando. Y dice que aun cuando desde 2012 las autoridades mexicanas conocían la ubicación del cadáver, construyeron un laberinto burocrático para desaparecerlo de nuevo y no entregárselo. Apenas en enero de 2015 pudo recuperarlo y la semana pasada ganó en la Suprema Corte un amparo para que sea considerada como víctima”.

U.S. Enforcement

•   The Obama Administration Shamelessly Plans to Deport the Two Central Americans Teens Detained on Their Way to School
En español aquí
Matt Hildreth, America’s Voice, March 17, 2016
“Pedro Salmeron, 18-years-old, and Yefri Sorto, 19-years-old, have been held by ICE since being arrested on their way to school in North Carolina. And, we’re learning that ICE is setting the stage to put them on a plane back to El Salvador unless there is an intervention from advocates tonight.”

•   Tell Congress: Kids Fleeing Violence Deserve Due Process
Emma Buckhout, Latin America Working Group, March 15, 2016
“Current U.S. law does not guarantee access to counsel in deportation hearings, even for children. This is unacceptable. Tell your members of Congress to stand up for due process and protection for children fleeing violence today.”

•   DHS Using Unpopular Raids to Curb Border Crossings
En español aquí
Alicia Caldwell, AP, Washington Post, March 18, 2016
“The Obama administration is openly stepping up efforts to find and deport immigrants who were part of the 2014 surge of illegal crossings by unaccompanied children and families.”

•   A Judge Thinks 3-Year-Olds Can Defend Themselves, so Immigration Lawyers Tried It on Their Own Kids
Jessica Roy, Los Angeles Times, March 12, 2016
“So: Can 3- and 4-year-olds competently represent themselves in court? Immigration attorney Amy Maldonado decided to find out. She created a YouTube page where (adult) immigration lawyers put toddlers on trial.”

•   The Injustice of Deporting Children without Representation
Hector Villagra, Los Angeles Times, March 17, 2016
“Children without lawyers were five times more likely to be ordered deported in the nearly 53,000 cases completed between October 2012 and August 2015.”

•   Deportaciones de mexicanos serán “más suaves y predecibles”
Univision, La Opinión, 17 de marzo de 2016
“El programa denominado ‘Respect’ busca disminuir el tiempo de reclusión de los mexicanos en los centros de detención para inmigrantes de EEUU y, además, quiere mejorar la atención a los niños y adolescentes que cruzan la frontera.”

•   Immigration Detention Critics Welcome Random Checks of ICE, CBP, Facilities; Say Government Should Do More to Stop Immigrant Abuse
Cedar Attanasio, Latin Times, March 16, 2016
“Department of Homeland Security officials have begun conducting unannounced inspections of immigrant jails, the DHS Office of Inspector General announced on Tuesday. In the past, detention center managers have gotten a heads up ahead of OIG inspections of health, safety and sanitation in the jails, giving them time to “clean up” according to human rights groups. By initiating unannounced checks, OIG says it’s responding to human rights reports of abuse and neglect.”

•   House Republicans Take ‘Extraordinary Step’ against Deportation Relief
Elise Foley, Huffington Post, March 17, 2016
“House Republicans voted Thursday to take the highly unusual step of intervening in a Supreme Court case over deportation relief programs they consider to be amnesty for undocumented immigrants, something many of them ardently oppose.”

•   Should this Georgia Teen Be Deported?
Jeremy Redmon, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 16, 2016
“Outside the sprawling complex in Ocilla, the Buford woman’s deportation case is attracting national attention while underscoring the link between Georgia and the on-again-off-again humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexican border. The impassioned debate over her case also comes amid a presidential election riven by what to do about the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S.”

•   Charlotte Immigrant Teens at Center of Controversial ICE Arrests
Mark Price, The Charlotte Observer, March 11, 2016
“Elsy and Jose Sorto-Hernandez, got a call from a federal agent saying their 19-year-old son had been arrested and was being held for deportation back to El Salvador. That’s a death sentence, Elsy Sorto-Hernandez says, asserting their son fled to Charlotte in 2014 to escape being killed by gang members.”

•   She Left Honduras to Escape Violence, but a Legal Misstep Has Her Stuck in Detention
Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian, March 12, 2016
“Pineda Chavez, 19, entered the US as a minor to escape violence and threats in her native Honduras, which should qualify her to be eligible for asylum – but a legal misstep has stuck her in detention for more than six weeks. And because she was stopped and detained by immigration authorities on her way to high school, her detention has also paralyzed her community in the north-east suburbs of Atlanta.”

•   Black and Undocumented: ‘I Didn’t Know Anybody Else Like Me’
Dorian Merina and A. Martinez, KPCC, March 10, 2016
“’For such a long time we’ve couched immigration as a Latino issue that we’ve erased all these communities that are at that intersection,’ said Jonathan Jayes-Green, whose family came from Panama when he was 13. ‘We’re not talking about this huge community of black, undocumented people that really experience the broken immigration system in a different manner.’”

•   Time for CBP to Hold Its Agents Accountable
Christian Ramirez, The Hill, March 11, 2016
“In 2010, Anastasio, a longtime resident of San Diego, was brutally beaten, shot with a Taser and killed by 13 U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents. Since his death, the Hernandez Rojas family has been subjected to delaying tactics and refusals to prosecute. Not only has our justice system failed this family, it has failed our communities.”

•   Report Finds Little Progress at Curbing Border Patrol Abuses
Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2016
“The system for disciplining abusive or corrupt Border Patrol agents and officers is so flawed that it hardly acts to deter criminal misconduct in the nation’s largest law enforcement agency, according to an independent task force that investigated the problems.”

•   Meet the First Gay Couple to Get Married inside an Immigration Detention Center
Jorge Rivas, Fusion, March 14, 2016
“Hernandez not only became Swann’s life partner; he also took on the role of caretaker. Hernandez took Swann out on walks around the neighborhood, kept the house clean, and reminded Swann to take his medicine. He also kept Swann happy. At this point Swann says he’s considering moving to Mexico if Hernandez is deported.”

•   A Deported Central American Family Can Now Return to the US to Seek Asylum
Meredith Hoffman, Vice News, March 17, 2016
“Lilian Oliva slit her wrists in the bathroom of a Texas immigrant detention center last summer. She had been locked up there for eight months, along with her four-year-old son, and the US government was preparing to send them to Honduras. She had lost her asylum case.”

•   House Bill Would Allow States, Localities to Refuse Refugee Resettlement
Barbara Hollingsworth, CNS News, March 15, 2016
“On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to markup the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act (HR 4731), a bill that would allow state and local governments to refuse to resettle foreign refugees within their jurisdictions.”

New Reports and Resources

•   DHS’s Stepped-up Targeting of Families and Kids Fleeing Violence Denounced
Adela de la Torre, National Immigration Law Center, March 11, 2016
“Just one day after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) vowed to ‘offer vulnerable populations in Central America an alternate, safe and legal path to a better life,’ it made the chilling revelation that, since late January, it has arrested 336 youth who came here as unaccompanied children fleeing some of the most horrific violence in the Western Hemisphere. A new media report highlights some of these arrests, conducted as part of ‘Operation Border Guardian,’ and the wave of fear that has gripped schools, churches and communities where these youth live.”

•   No Celebration in Detention
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
“Join the the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Representation and Advocacy Project to call on the Obama administration to end family detention. We will gather with mothers and children who were held in immigration detention on March 28 at Lafayette Square.”

•   New Analysis Finds Growing Backlog in Immigration Courts
Human Rights First, March 15, 2016
“Human Rights First today released a new analysis detailing the immigration court backlog and outlining the effect it has on the fairness and integrity of the asylum and immigration systems. The analysis comes as appropriators in Congress examine funding for the immigration court system. Human Rights First has urged members of Congress to support in Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations for 75 additional immigration judge teams.”

•   [English] Situation of Human Rights in Guatemala
[Español] Situación de derechos humanos en Guatemala
CIDH, OAS, December 2015
“In the present report the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) addresses the situation of human rights in Guatemala, and a number of structural challenges in access to justice and impunity, citizen security, marginalization and discrimination which have affected severely the human rights of its inhabitants.”

•   [Videos] NC Teachers Demand ICE Release Teen Facing Imminent Deportation to Central America
Gabe Ortiz, America’s Voice, March 18, 2016
“North Carolina community members and advocates are working furiously to try and help Wildin. Several teachers from his high school have recorded emotional videos praising him and urging ICE to immediately stop his deportation.”

•   Broken Immigration System Has Economic, Human Implications
Lucy Fyler, National Immigration Forum, March 18, 2016
“A new report from the National Foundation for American Policy underscores the increasing importance and contributions of immigrants to the U.S. economy. The study points to the number and value of immigrant-founded companies.”

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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.