en English

Central America/Mexico Migration News Brief for August 26, 2016

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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).
*Please note that the Migration News Brief will not be published next week.

Root Causes

•   To Escape Gangs and Poverty, Central American Children Making Risky Journey to US – UNICEF
UN News Centre, August 23, 2016
“The flow of refugee and migrant children – seeking refuge from brutal gangs and stifling poverty in Central America and making their way to the United States – shows no sign of letting up, despite the risks of being kidnapped, trafficked, raped, or killed on the journey, a report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) found.”

•   In Honduras, U.S. Aid Contributes to the Violence
Deborah Kern, The New York Times, August 22, 2016
“Our faith partners in Honduras tell us of the negative effects of American project funding: fanning divisions in communities and undermining local initiatives by creating rival groups. Most important, focusing on small projects diverts attention from what’s really needed to transform the country: major change in American policy.”

•   Northern Triangle Nations to Deploy Joint Anti-Crime Force in September
Latin American Herald Tribune, August 24, 2016
“A joint anti-crime task force in Central America’s Northern Triangle will be deployed starting in September, the governments of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala announced on Tuesday.”

•   Growth of Central American Armies Poses Threat to Democracy
EFE, Fox News Latino, August 24, 2016
“In a context of weak court systems, rampant human rights violations, an almost endemic ‘fragile rule of law’ and ‘feeble internal checks and balances,’ strong armies become a danger for democracy.”

•   Abuso de autoridad, peritajes a modo: las claves del informe sobre ejecuciones en Tanhuato
Arturo Angel, Animal Político, 19 de agosto de 2016
“En un informe de más de 700 páginas la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH) evidenció lo ocurrido el 22 de mayo del 2015, en un supuesto enfrentamiento armado que dejó 42 civiles y un policía muerto en un rancho de Tanhuato, Michoacán.  Casi la mitad de esas personas fueron ejecutadas arbitrariamente por los policías que incurrieron en abuso de la fuerza.”

•   Violencia en México repunta en julio: homicidios 26% y secuestro 37%
Zeta Tijuana, 21 de agosto de 2016
“En julio se registraron mil 842 homicidios dolosos en el país, cifra 26 por ciento mayor que la reportada en el mismo mes de 2015 cuando fue de mil 457, mientras que el secuestro pasó de 77 a 106 en el mismo periodo, un 37 por ciento más, de acuerdo con cifras publicadas por el Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública (SNSP).”

•   Mexican Journalist in Serious Condition after Being Shot outside Home in Veracruz [English]
Periodista mexicana en grave estado de salud tras recibir disparo afuera de su casa en Veracruz [Español]
Teresa Mioli, Journalism in the Americas Blog, August 23, 2016
“The State Commission for the Care and Protection of Journalists (CEAPP) reported it was assisting the journalist and her family and that protocols had been activated in coordination with authorities at the FGE and Secretariat of Public Security of Veracruz.”

•   In El Salvador,’ Gang Pastor’ Alleged to Be Crime Financier
Associated Press, The New York Times, August 26, 2016
“Prosecutors allege that Ramos’ new life was a front, that he used his pastoral credentials to access prisons so he could conspire with jailed leaders of the gang. Religion, they say, was a facade to mask his real work: helping run Mara Salvatrucha’s street operations and directing its finances at a key moment when gangs are facing a tough crackdown by the government and are moving to diversify their criminal operations and become more corporate in makeup and structure. Ramos denies the allegations.”

Mexican Enforcement

•   México: vinculan a autoridades migratorias con desapariciones forzadas
teleSUR, 25 de agosto de 2016
“Hace tres meses el joven indígena Maximiliano Gordillo partió de su natal Chiapas, en el sureste mexicano, para buscar trabajo. En el camino fue detenido por agentes del Instituto Nacional de Migración y, desde entonces, permanece desaparecido. Sin embargo, éste no es el único caso de personas que han sido agredidas por autoridades migratorias.”

•   Mexico, a Democracy Where People Disappear at the Hands of the State
Daniela Pastrana, Inter Press Service, August 26, 2016
“The case of Maximiliano Gordillo is just one of 150 people from Chiapas who have gone missing along routes used by migrants in Mexico….They are added to thousands of Central American migrants who have vanished in Mexico in the past decade. According to organisations working on behalf of migrants, many of the victims were handed over by the police and other government agents to criminal groups to be extorted or used as slave labour.”

•   A 6 años de la masacre en San Fernando, las víctimas aún no acceden a la investigación
Manuel Ureste, Animal Político, 26 de agosto de 2016
“Preguntas clave como quién ordenó el secuestro de los migrantes; quiénes son los policías involucrados en los hechos y qué hizo el Estado con las alertas que recibió dos años antes de la masacre, siguen sin respuesta.”

•   Reviven la tragedia de los 72 de San Fernando
Leobardo Pérez, El Universal, 22 de agosto de 2016
“Refugio realiza obra de teatro para conmemorar la masacre de migrantes; indocumentados exigen justicia para los familiares de las víctimas.”

•   México en el debate internacional sobre personas migrantes y refugiadas
Jose Knippen, El Universal, 19 de agosto de 2016
“Frente a la amplitud de temas y el alcance global de la Cumbre de Líderes Mundiales en la ONU en septiembre, es prioritario que México haga compromisos más ambiciosos frente a las necesidades de protección de los centroamericanos, incluso cuando no cumplan con los criterios para ser reconocidos como refugiados, brindándoles de otra manera, estancia regular en el país.

•   El gobierno de México quita concesión a empresa que controlaba el ferrocarril la Bestia
Animal Político, 23 de agosto de 2016
“El gobierno mexicano informó este martes 22 de agosto que tomó el control de la ruta ferroviaria conocida como la Bestia, que es utilizada por migrantes centroamericanos que se cruzan México rumbo a Estados Unidos.”

•   Organizaciones exigen a las autoridades protección y justicia para personas migrantes y refugiadas en México a través de informe
FUNDAR, 15 de agosto de 2016
“Con su enfoque en control migratorio, el Programa Frontera Sur ha aumentado la vulnerabilidad de las personas migrantes frente a violaciones a sus derechos humanos.”

U.S. Enforcement

•   U.S Must Stop Mistreating Asylum Seekers Fleeing Persecution
Kristina Arriaga and Thomas J. Reese, The Hill, August 25, 2016
“While many officials work faithfully under difficult conditions to protect our borders, asylum seekers all too often encounter skeptical, improperly trained, and poorly supervised officials who turn them away without proper screening. The obvious risk is that the United States is sending back to their countries of origin victims of persecution and torture, with possible tragic consequences. And those temporarily admitted to pursue asylum cases are detained, often for many months, in prison-like facilities in isolated areas, far from legal counsel.”

•   The U.S. Is Failing Central American Refugees
Mark Hetfield, Time, August 18, 2016
“The U.S. needs to lead a regional response to the Central American crisis not just with humanitarian aid and symbolic gatherings on the margins of the General Assembly, but also with deeds. We can start by ending the practice of jailing women and children asylum seekers, something the U.S. now does to “send a message” to discourage others from seeking asylum.”

•   Madres inmigrantes dicen que prefieren una cárcel en Estados Unidos que una tumba en Honduras
Jorge Cancino, Univision, 23 de agosto de 2016
“María no se llama María. Pidió no revelar su nombre porque tiene miedo que la secuestren. Salió hace tres semanas de Tegucigalpa rumbo a México y después seguir viaje a Texas, donde pedirá asilo. “Si regreso tengo miedo que me maten. Y también tengo miedo de llegar a Estados Unidos y me metan presa”, dice con la voz temblorosa al otro lado del teléfono.”

•   Madres inmigrantes que piden asilo: “Si nos mandan de regreso, nos matan”
Jorge Cancino, Univision, 25 de agosto de 2016
“Inmigrantes centroamericanas que pidieron asilo en la frontera de Texas y fueron enviadas a un centro de detención de ICE en Berks, Pennsylvania, dijeron este jueves a Univision Noticias que ‘seguimos luchando por nuestra causa, queremos esperar libres la respuesta a nuestros pedidos de asilo’”.

•   El drama de las madres detenidas con sus hijos en Berks
Pilar Marerro, La Opinión, 24 de agosto de 2016
“Todas estas mujeres tienen sólidos casos que podrían ganar asilo, pero el gobierno se niega a darles otra oportunidad luego de realizarles una primera entrevista que no siguió los parámetros legales básicos”.

•   Seizing Our Moment in Central America
Joe Biden, Univision, August 22, 2016
“And today, President Solis and I will discuss another important step: Costa Rica has agreed to temporarily host refugees from the Northern Triangle as they are processed and screened for resettlement in the United States or elsewhere. We are also working with other regional partners like Mexico, to ensure that all migrants are treated humanely and that any steps to limit undocumented migration respect the human dignity of migrants and give full consideration to their refugee claims under the law.”

•   Presidents Obama, Solís Sign Historic Security Donation for Costa Rica
Tico Times, August 22, 2016
“Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solís, U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden announced an unprecedented donation of security equipment for Costa Rica on Monday during Solís’ visit to Washington. They also agreed on the terms for joint projects aimed at curbing problems related to organized crime, migration and public security.”

•   Comisionado de Aduanas de EEUU llega a Honduras y se reunirá con autoridades
EFE, 24 de agosto de 2016
“Señaló que Kerlikowske se reunirá este jueves con miembros de la Fuerza de Tarea para el Niño Migrante, creada en junio de 2014, y la primera dama de Honduras, con quien posteriormente ofrecerá una rueda de prensa en la Casa Presidencial hondureña.”

•   It’s Children Against Federal Lawyers in Immigration Court
Fernanda Santos, The New York Times, August 20, 2016
“Every week in immigration courts around the country, thousands of children act as their own lawyers, pleading for asylum or other type of relief in a legal system they do not understand.”

•   Immigration Enforcement Still Missing the Mark on Detainers
Michele Waslin, Immigration Impact, August 17, 2016
“TRAC found that in the first two months of FY2016, ICE was not focusing on its own priorities and was still issuing most I-247s on individuals who have no criminal records.”

•   Trump’s America Already Exists on the Border
Todd Miller, The Huffington Post, August 23, 2016
“By 2016, federal government funding of border and immigration enforcement added up to $5 billion more than that for all other federal law enforcement agencies combined. Operation Streamline, a cornerstone program in the ‘Consequence Delivery System,’ part of a broader Border Patrol deterrence strategy for stopping undocumented immigration, is just one part of a vast enforcement-incarceration-deportation machine.”

•   Fort Bliss Complex to House Immigrant Children
Lindsey Anderson, El Paso Times, August 26, 2016
“A Fort Bliss complex in Doña Ana County will soon house children who immigrated alone to the United States. The children are scheduled to arrive at the temporary shelter beginning the week of Sept. 5. The facility will have the capacity for 1,800 beds.”

•   Sanders, Arizona’s Grijalva Call for Ending Use of Privately Run Detention Centers
Chico Harlan, The Washington Post, August 22, 2016
“The request…indicates how homeland security officials could face greater pressure to revisit their use of the for-profit facilities, coming days after the Justice Department said it would wind down the use of private prisons. U.S. immigration authorities maintain a sprawling network of detention centers for immigrants who have committed crimes, are pressing asylum claims, or are awaiting deportation.”

•   The Department of Justice Will Still Rely on Private Prisons in a Big Way
Roque Planas, The Huffington Post, August 24, 2016
“Nearly a third of those detained by the U.S. Marshals Service are locked up in privatized jails.”

•   Lawsuit Opens New Front in Obama Immigration Legal Fight
Reuters, The New York Times, August 25, 2016
“Immigration advocates on Thursday mounted a long-shot effort to revive part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to shield millions of immigrants from deportation by filing a lawsuit challenging the national scope of a court order that blocked it.”

•   Encuesta desmiente lo que los republicanos dicen sobre los indocumentados
Pilar Marrero, La Opinión, 25 de agosto de 2016
“La inmensa mayoría de los estadounidenses piensa que los indocumentados son gente tan decente como ellos que trabajan duro, no son más propensos al delito, según sondeo de PEW.”

•   Trump Echoes Obama in Plans to Deport ‘Criminal’ Immigrants [English]
¿A quién se refiere Donald Trump cuando habla de los indocumentados “criminales” que deportará? [Español]
Rachel Glickhouse and Jessica Weiss, Univision, August 25, 2016
“But what sort of crimes might Trump be referring to? Experts say defining “criminal immigrants” is problematic, in part because of the range of crimes that can trigger deportation – including the simple act of entering the country.”

•   Obama es el presidente que más ha deportado en los últimos 30 años
Jorge Cancino, Univision, August 25, 2016
“La cifra total de deportados al 30 de julio de este año se acerca a los 2.8 millones y todavía quedan seis meses para que entregue el mando a quien gane la elección de noviembre.”

•   Caminarán 150 millas por una reforma migratoria
Jaqueline Garcia, La Opinión, 19 de agosto de 2016
“El recorrido de 11 días empieza este sábado en San Diego y concluye en Los Ángeles.”

•   U.S. Farmers Risk Losing Everything Because of Absurd Immigration Rule
Joseph Erbentraut, The Huffington Post, August 25, 2016
“Crops are rotting in the field while farmers wait and wait — and wait — for help to arrive.”

Reports, Resources, Actions

•   Broken Dreams: Central American Children’s Dangerous Journey to the United States
UNICEF, August 2016
“Many of the adults and some of the children apprehended at the US border are deported in expedited proceedings, women and young children spend weeks, and at times months in detention, while unaccompanied children may face years of uncertainty as their cases go before immigration courts. If deported, some of them could be killed or raped by the gangs they had sought to escape in the first place. All these children need protection every step of the way.”

•   Sign the Postcard: Urge the U.S. to Lead by Example on Refugee Protection & Resettlement
In the lead up to the refugee summits organized by both the United Nations General Assembly and President Obama, more than 40 organizations have developed a postcard to be delivered to Congress and President Obama urging the U.S. to lead by example. The postcard will also be used during the DCRally4Refugees in Washington, DC on August 28th.
The postcard can be signed electronically at http://bit.ly/refugeepostcard, and can also be printed off to have people sign at events.

•   National Refugee Call-in Day: Tuesday, September 6th
Interfaith Immigration Coalition
“In the lead up to two historic refugee summits organized by the United Nations General Assembly and President Obama, it is critical for the U.S. to demonstrate bold leadership on refugee protection.”

•   Fact Sheet: Asylum in the United States
American Immigration Council, August 22, 2016
“This fact sheet describes the asylum system in the United States, including how asylum is defined, eligibility requirements, and the application process.”

•   Fact Sheet: USCIS Data on Application and Petition Processing Times
American Immigration Council, August 22, 2016
“This fact sheet provides an overview of how USCIS calculates processing times, concerns about the published data, and how backlogs negatively impact people trying to move through the process.”

•   ¿Cuáles son los requisitos para obtener el asilo en Estados Unidos?
Univision, 20 de agosto de 2016
“Conoce cuáles son los pasos para aplicar al asilo y cada uno de los requerimientos que exige el Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de Estados Unidos.”

•   The Supreme Court Vacancy Is Hurting Millions and It Could Get Worse
NILC, August 24, 2016
“Too many lives are at stake. We deserve a real decision in U.S. v. Texas.”

•   325 Human Rights, Social Justice, Faith-Based, Labor, and Immigrant Rights Groups are Calling for an International Convergence at the U.S./Mexico Border from October 7-10, 2016
SOA Watch, August 23, 2016
“We cannot look at immigration reform without looking at its root cause.  We cannot discuss police brutality or the prison industrial complex in the U.S. without discussing its root purpose.”

•   Readout of the President and Vice President’s Meeting with President Luis Guillermo Solis of Costa Rica
The White House, Office of the Vice President, August 22, 2016
“The President and Vice President commended Costa Rica for its leadership in establishing a ‘protective transfer arrangement’ in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration to provide temporary safe haven for up to two hundred migrants at a time from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The leaders agreed that the challenge of irregular migration in the Americas will require close cooperation among all affected countries through stronger border security and upholding the rule of law, while respecting the rights of individuals who qualify for asylum under international refugee standards.”

P.S. Do you know of someone who might be interested in receiving the Migrant News Brief? Forward this e-mail and have them sign up here.