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Central America/Mexico Migration News Brief for August 22, 2018

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We took a short break in August from producing news briefs so THANK YOU for your patience. Today’s is a  compilation of top articles and reports since our last brief related to issues of U.S. immigration and enforcement policy and migration from Central America and Mexico (articles in English and Spanish). Please feel free to send us recommendations or requests for upcoming news briefs: lfolkerts@lawg.org.

Source: Getty Images, The Hill

•Elected officials in YOUR hometown. ACT for immigrants & refugees
Latin America Working Group, July 31, 2018
“Congress may be on summer break, but we are not backing off. Not when the fate of over a million immigrants and refugees continues to hang in the balance. That’s why we’re calling on YOU to use the congressional August lull to push even harder for the rights of these members of our communities.”

U.S. Enforcement
•Language Barriers Lead Border Patrol to Rip Children From Their Indigenous Parents
Scott Bixby, The Daily Beast, August 16, 2018
“‘It’s already difficult for an average person in these countries to get any sort of response from the police to violence, as it is,’ said… the Latin American Working Group… Those challenges, Burgi-Palomino told The Daily Beast, ‘are compounded and doubled and tripled for members of indigenous communities because of language issues—and because they have already been historically excluded from government and government responses.’”

•Deportaciones de mexicanos alcanzan su punto más alto desde que Trump es presidente
Manu Ureste, Animal Politico, 13 de agosto de 2018
“…en el primer semestre de 2018 se registró un total de 109 mil 296 eventos de repatriación de mexicanos por parte de las autoridades migratorias estadounidenses”.

•Aumentan 85% las deportaciones de guatemaltecos desde EEUU en 2018
El Mundo, 3 de agosto de 2018
“…entre enero y julio pasados, un total de 30.138 guatemaltecos fueron deportados de Estados Unidos, superando considerablemente a los 16.273 expulsados en el mismo periodo de 2017”.

•Deportación de hondureños aumentó en 55.9 % en primeros siete meses de 2018
Proceso Digital, 2 de agosto de 2018
“…desde el 1 de enero hasta el 27 de julio de 2018 han sido deportados tanto por la vía aérea como terrestre un total de 42 mil 636 hondureños”.

•The Wall at Home
James Goodman, The Progressive, August 1, 2018
“The nation’s immigration court system, consisting of sixty courts with 334 judges as of mid-April, is swamped. Its backlog reached 714,067 cases at the end of May, up 171,656 cases since Trump took office…”

•To save asylum seekers we must save our immigration courts
Gregory Chen, The Hill, August 20, 2018
“But even the courts are under attack. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is leading the charge by using his ‘certification’ power to pluck several cases from the courts and replacing their decisions with his own.”

•The Trump Administration Made Asylum Seekers Camp on Bridges. Now Advocates Say Mexico Is Removing Them
Noah Lanard, Mother Jones, August 3, 2018
“Removing people from the bridges over the Rio Grande would represent a significant escalation in efforts to prevent asylum-seekers without Mexican transit visas from legally entering the United States at official ports of entry.”

•Beyond family separation: Trump’s ongoing war on asylum, explained
Dara Lind, Vox, August 6, 2018
“From May to June, the number of people admitted legally at official border crossings to seek asylum plummeted by 42 percent… Here are answers to nine essential questions about Trump’s ongoing war on asylum.”

•Judge halts mother-daughter deportation, threatens to hold Sessions in contempt
Arelis R. Hernández, The Washington Post, August 8, 2018
“The lawsuit says Sessions’s ruling, and updated guidelines for asylum officers that the Department of Homeland Security issued a month later, subject migrants in expedited removal proceedings to an ‘unlawful screening standard’ that deprives them of their rights under federal law.”

•Revealed: Ice teams up with Nicaragua even as US decries Ortega’s crackdown
Charles Davis, The Guardian, August 3, 2018
“Ice officials signed a memorandum of understanding with Managua in April to expedite the deportation of Nicaraguan citizens – shortly after Donald Trump revoked temporary protective status (TPS) for around 2,500 Nicaraguan immigrants.”

•Realizan manifestación frente a edificio donde podrían habilitar un centro de menores en Houston
Univision, 18 de agosto de 2018
“Activistas, miembros de la comunidad y beneficiarios del TPS están protestando pacíficamente porque temen que cuando culmine el Estatus de Protección Temporal puedan correr con la misma suerte de las familias afectadas por la política ‘tolerancia cero’”.

•Menendez, Engel Lead Over 100 Members of Congress in Demanding TPS Be Reinstated for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, August 2, 2018
“The letter comes after the State Department released a series of internal documents showing the Trump Administration’s overtly political decisions to terminate TPS for El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti  despite warnings of grave consequences for the U.S. national security, TPS beneficiaries and U.S.-citizen children.”

•Exclusive: new lawsuit claims Trump illegally denied asylum claims of separated parents
Dara Lind, Vox, August 20, 2018
“The allegations in the new DC lawsuit raise serious questions about how those interviews were conducted.”

•White House reviewing plan to end court settlement on immigrant child detention
Tal Kopan, CNN, August 2, 2018
“The action to finalize regulations on the topic, revealed in a government database, comes after repeated attempts to change the Flores Settlement Agreement have been resoundingly rejected by a federal judge and amid continuing fallout over the Trump administration’s related decision to separate families at the border.”

•Family Separation, Harsh Enforcement Tactics Do Not Deter Migration
Christian Jorgensen, Immigration Impact, August 10, 2018
“A recent study based on new data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shows this policy and older enforcement policies aimed at deterrence have not successfully curbed migration. Instead, seasonal migration patterns appear to dictate the flow of new arrivals at the border.”

•Family Separation Isn’t New
Natalie Escobar, The Atlantic, August 14,2018
“A lot of what’s happening is unprecedented. However, those who study the border, like Soto, know that parents and their children have been separated by American immigration policies for decades, if not longer.”

•“I Was Taken to a Huge Cage”
Kayla Webley Alder, Marie Claire, August 14, 2018
“…a 16-year-old girl from El Salvador caring for a little girl from Honduras whom she had met inside the cage. The teen, who asked that we not use her name to protect herself and her family, all of whom are undocumented, told her story…”

•The Government Reunited Some Immigrant Families—Then Took the Children Away a Second Time
Robert Moore, Texas Monthly, August 6, 2018
“The short-lived July 25 reunion marked the second time that the U.S. government separated the families. The parents were not allowed to board the bus to say goodbye to their children.“

•Trump’s Family Separation Could Get This Mother and Son Killed
Scott Bixby, Daily Beast, August 6, 2018
“Traumatized and desperate to be reunited with her child, Elvia rushed through a crucial interview meant to help secure her asylum status—and in doing so, her attorney fears, may have doomed herself to deportation.”

•Trump administration puts burden on ACLU to find deported parents separated from children
Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, August 3, 2018
“Justice Department lawyers wrote in a court filing Thursday that the ACLU should use its ‘considerable resources,’ its network of advocacy groups, and information from the government to locate parents removed to foreign countries. The Trump administration added, however, that the State Department has made contact with foreign governments to assist in facilitating family reunions.”

•Judge says Trump team ‘100 percent’ responsible for finding deported immigrant parents
Alan Gomez, USA Today, August 3, 2018
“A federal judge on Friday rejected a Trump administration request to make the ACLU primarily responsible for locating migrant parents who were deported after they were separated from their children…”

•Mothers heard pleading for their children at immigration detention center
Annie Rose Ramos, Gabe Gutierrez and Julia Ainsley, NBC News, July 25, 2018
“…recordings of two mothers in a Texas immigration detention center telling a judge they want to be reunited with their children.”

•Forget ICE, the Real Problem is CBP

Richard Parker, Los Angeles Times, August 19, 2018
“CBP is a paramilitary organization that has grown too large, too quickly with too little oversight…The Guardian reported recently that nearly 100 people have been shot and killed by CBP in the last 15 years, not including those injured in shootings, tasings, beatings and car crashes. Some 28 shot and killed were U.S. citizens, and the youngest was just 12 years old.”

•Desperate To Be Reunited With Their Children, Parents Place Their Hope In A Stranger
Shannon Dooling, wbur, August 18, 2018
“A Boston woman is trying to help some of those families. Here, we talk to two families in Central America affected by the separation policy that she’s trying to help.”

•Kevin McAleenan Says the Border Patrol Doesn’t Make the Laws
Interview by Audie Cornish, New York Times, August 7, 2018
“‘We’re a law-enforcement organization carrying out policy and law set by others.’”

•McAleenan: ‘Better Arrival Point for Children and Families’ Needed with Border Trends
Bridget Johnson, Homeland Security Today, August 2, 2018
“Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said ‘everything’s on the table’ to stem the flow of illegal immigration in dealing with the incoming presidential administration in Mexico as the U.S. launches a new messaging campaign to try to deter Central American migrants fleeing violent countries from making the perilous journey north.”

•Nielsen Meets with Mexican Secretary of Governance on Border Security Approach
Homeland Security Today, July 30, 2018
“The two discussed ways the United States and Mexico can engage regional governments, international organizations, and the private sector to develop a strategic, long-term approach to regional migration control.”

•The Impossible Choice My Father Had to Make
Renya Grande, New York Times, August 11,2018
“Every day, in countries around the world, mothers and fathers are deciding whether saving their children means leaving them behind to suffer or bringing them on a perilous journey to a place where they could have a better future. There are grave consequences to either choice.”

•U.S. immigration policies hateful, cruel [Opinion]
Marselha Gonçalves Margerin, Houston Chronicle, August 4, 2018
“This has never been about following the law. If it were, the administration would not have to bend the law or even blatantly disregard it to accomplish its discriminatory ends.”

Mexican Enforcement
•México también separa menores migrantes de sus padres, señala Unicef
Sin Embargo, 16 de agosto de 2018
“…las autoridades mexicanas suelen detener y llevar a los niños de 12 años a una zona separada de sus familias, mientras que se permite a las madres quedarse con los niños más pequeños”.

•Donald Trump makes migration Mexico’s problem
The Economist, August 18, 2018
“In his letter to Mr Trump, Mr López Obrador proposed a plan to stem migration under which the two governments would spend three times as much on economic development in Central America as they do on border security.”

•What happens to deportees back in Mexico? One group is offering a hand
Daniel Peña, NBC News, August 5, 2018
“It’s not uncommon for the Mexican government to reach out to New Comienzos as they and organizations like the Instituto Nacional de Migració find themselves bracing for a surge of repatriated Mexicans in the wake of the Trump administration’s deportation policy.”

•Deportados, pero no derrotados: La lucha de un colectivo para ayudar a los mexicanos expulsados por Trump
Manu Ureste, Animal Politico, 10 de agosto de 2018
“En realidad, al otro lado de la puerta solo espera un pequeño grupo de cinco activistas… ‘Deportados Unidos en la Lucha’, un colectivo creado en diciembre de 2016 en la Ciudad de México que apoya a migrantes retornados”.

Root Causes
•The Return of Latin America’s Military
Rebecca Bill Chavez, New York Times, August 14, 2018
“The secretary of defense’s trip to Latin America offers a rare opportunity to show U.S. support for strengthening the region’s ability to fight crime and violence. Militarization is not the answer.”

•Las estadísticas y el drama humana de los desplazados por la violencia 06-08-2018
Canal 33 TV El Salvador, 7 de agosto de 2018

•Guatemala Police Archive under Threat
Kate Doyle, National Security Archive, August 13 2018
“Indeed, it may be the Police Archive’s crucial contributions to human rights trials that caused the government of President Jimmy Morales to seek to control the repository and fire its director.”

•The Zetas, Drug Money and the Colom Campaign in Guatemala
Steven Dudley, InSight Crime, August 9, 2018
“Álvaro Colom, the bookish former head of a prominent development agency, won the 2007 election with help from dubious operatives such as Obdulio Solórzano, who allegedly secured financial support from Mexican and Guatemalan organized crime groups. This story tracks Solórzano’s rise and his ignominious, bloody fall.”

•Guatemala’s corruption should be at the top of Trump’s agenda
Angelika Albaladejo, CNN, August 9, 2018
“If Trump and members of Congress weaken US backing for Guatemala’s fight against corruption, it will only worsen the purported immigration crisis they say they want to solve.”

•IACHR and the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons Welcome Decision Made by El Salvador’s Constitutional Chamber on Internal Displacement Caused by Violence

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, August 10, 2018
“…welcome the decision made by the Constitutional Chamber of El Salvador’s Supreme Court of Justice to acknowledge the existence of a phenomenon marked by the forced displacement of persons stemming from the context of violence and insecurity in El Salvador.”

•La Corte no se refiere a recuperar territorios de tipo militar sino los tejidos sociales
Iliana Cornejo, El Mundo, 7 de agosto de 2018
“Está corriendo el primer mes de plazo que la Sala de lo Constitucional ha dado a diferentes instancias del Estado para cumplir con la sentencia 411, relacionada en primer lugar, al reconocimiento oficial de las víctimas de desplazamiento interno por violencia en esa condición; es el primer punto que debe de cumplirse por parte de la sentencia de la Sala”.

•Honduras post-election killings: families wait in vain for justice
Jennifer Ávila, Jeff Ernst, and Catty Calderon, The Guardian, August 17, 2018
“UN confirms at least 16 people were killed by security forces, but six months on not a single indictment has been filed.”

•Sin castigo militares que dispararon a matar en crisis post electoral
Jenniver Avila and Martin Calix, Contra Corriente, 15 de agosto de 2018
“…son 22 los casos que ya pasaron a investigación en diferentes fiscalías. Sin embargo, el Ministerio Público sigue sin dictar un tan solo requerimiento fiscal por los asesinatos y sigue sin dar respuesta a familiares de víctimas, ongs e instancias internacionales sobre los avances en las investigaciones”.

•Honduran Court Denies Victimhood to COPINH in Berta Cáceres Assassination Case
Zoe PC, New Click, August 3, 2108
“Despite the international pressure, the Honduran government continues to make the delivery of true justice in this case impossible and has chosen to focus on those directly responsible and the incident itself, rather than the broader context. The rejection of the status of victimhood for COPINH in the case is part of this general trend.”

•La huida incierta de miles de nicaragüenses hacia Costa Rica
Alvaro Murillo, El Pais, 11 de agosto de 2018
“Un relato parecido se repite una y otra vez en la fila de solicitantes de refugio, una cola interminable de nicaragüenses que han huido a Costa Rica desde que estalló la crisis, en abril. Hay registradas 19.000 peticiones de refugio, aunque Naciones Unidas ha reportado el ingreso de más de 23.000 personas a este país convertido en un destino histórico de migrantes desde Nicaragua”.

•OAS human rights body counts 317 dead in Nicaragua unrest
Luis Alonso Lugo, Associated Press, August 2, 2018
“The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said the toll included 23 minors and 21 police officers… President Daniel Ortega has acknowledged 195 dead, while the independent Nicaraguan Pro-Human Rights Commission has reported 450.”

•Nicaraguans lost to political protest
Siobhan O’Grady and Juan Carlos, Washington Post, August 2, 2018
Interactive photocards.

•Mothers of Mexico’s Disappeared Young Men Blame the Police
Luke Taylor, Truthout, August 2, 2018
“Despite persistent visits to the police station, in two years, there have been no developments in the investigation into the disappearance of Vicente. Authorities have consistently reiterated their limited resources, but the mothers have long held their doubts whether the authorities were ever interested at all.”

Actions, Reports, and Resources
•Take Action: Protect Asylum for Survivors of Domestic Violence
Futures without Violence and Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, August 2018
“It is now more important than ever to make your voice heard. You can use this toolkit to
take action and defend these critical protections for immigrant survivors.”

•Detaining Families: A Study of Asylum Adjudication in Family Detention
Ingrid Eagly, Esq., Steven Shafer, Esq. and Jana Whalley, Esq., American Immigration Council, August 16, 2018
“This report presents findings from the first empirical analysis of asylum adjudication in family detention. Drawing on government data from over 18,000 immigration court proceedings initiated between fiscal years 2001 and 2016, this report documents how families detained in the United States’ family detention centers proceeded through the court process.”

•IACHR Grants Precautionary Measure to Protect Separated Migrant Children in the United States
Organization of American States, August 20, 2018
“The Commission issued two resolutions.”

•Desarraigados en Centroamérica y México
UNICEF, agosto de 2018
“En este informe de la Infancia en peligro se evalúan las causas estructurales de las migraciones irregulares procedentes del norte de Centroamérica y México, y se analizan las distintas dificultades y peligros a los que se enfrentan los niños migrantes y refugiados y sus familias durante los arduos procesos de migración y retorno”.

Fact sheet on family separation for asylum seekers
CLINIC, August 9, 2018
“This fact sheet explains how the Trump Administration carried out family separation and the
recent federal court ruling in Ms. L v. ICE.”

•Hold CBP Accountable
ACLU, American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
“This site documents litigation taken across the country in an ongoing effort to establish accountability and transparency of one of the fastest growing agencies in the United States. The website also directs readers to additional resources for those seeking to monitor CBP’s disregard of constitutional and statutory rights.”

•No Tú, Nicaragua | Solidaridad desde La 72
La 72 Tenosique, 11 de agosto de 2018
“Desde La 72 nos unimos al clamor nicaragüense y les enviamos este poema como palabra viva de resistencia, rebeldía, y dignidad.”

•Civil Society Orgs Host US Representative James McGovern & Government Stakeholders in Central American Fact Finding Delegation
Alianza Americas, August 7, 2018
“A high-profile delegation of federal and local elected officials, immigrant advocates, and legal experts will travel to Honduras and El Salvador to bolster ongoing fact-finding efforts to build legal defense and legislative supports for  Central American asylum seekers and migrants, including Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, in the US.”

•Refugees International Calls on President Trump to End Human Rights Abuses Against Vulnerable Asylum Seekers At The U.S. Southern Border
Refugees International, August 8, 2018
“Upon return from a field mission to the border between the United States and Mexico, Refugees International (RI) President Eric Schwartz decried human rights abuses against highly vulnerable asylum seekers from the Northern Triangle of Central America.”

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

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