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Central America/Mexico Migration News Brief for February 10, 2017

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This week’s MNB focuses on updates on the U.S. immigration and refugee executive orders, as well as top articles and reports related to issues of migration from Central America and Mexico (articles in English and Spanish). Please feel free to send us recommendations or requests for upcoming news briefs: ebuckhout@lawg.org.

U.S. Immigration Developments

Refugee/Travel Ban

•   Fight on Travel Ban on Hold; Appeals Court Sides with States
Sudhin Thanawala, AP, The Washington Post, February 10, 2017
“The legal fight over President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations is on hold after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reinstate the order, unanimously rejecting the administration’s claim of presidential authority, questioning its motives and concluding that the order was unlikely to survive legal challenges.”

•   Homeland Security Chief Admits Travel Ban Was Rushed
Ron Nixon and Nicholas Kulish, The New York Times, February 7, 2017
“The secretary of homeland security, John F. Kelly, acknowledged to lawmakers on Tuesday that President Trump’s travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries had been rushed and would have benefited from better coordination.”

•   Trump Admits that Battle over Travel Ban Could Go to Supreme Court
Latin American Herald Tribune
“The president was referring to the legal battle that erupted after a federal judge blocked implementation of the executive order he had signed barring US entry to all refugees and to citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations, a suspension that now is the focus of litigation in the San Francisco-based US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.”

•   Jueces cuestionan duramente la falta de evidencias para sustentar el veto de Trump a los siete países musulmanes
Univision Noticias, 7 de febrero 2017
“Los tres jueces de la Corte de Apelaciones del Noveno Circuito criticaron este martes que el abogado del gobierno no presentó pruebas para defender el desbloqueo de la orden ejecutiva del presidente Donald Trump, que busca negar la entrada a Estados Unidos de ciudadanos de siete países de mayoría musulmana.”

•   White House Rewriting Trump’s Controversial Travel Ban Order: Sources
Peter Alexander and Corky Siemaszko, NBC News, February 10, 2017
“Still regrouping from a federal appeals court’s refusal to reinstate President Trump’s controversial ban of nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries, White House lawyers are working on a rewrite of his executive order that could pass legal muster, NBC News has learned.”

•   Following Muslim Ban Detentions, Senator Harris Introduces First Bill to Guarantee Access to Counsel at Border, Ports of Entry
Kamala D. Harris, United States Senator for California, February 9, 2017
“U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris, a member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, introduced her first piece of legislation today, the Access to Counsel Act, to ensure that those held or detained while attempting to enter the United States, whether at a border crossing or a port of entry, be guaranteed access to legal counsel.”

•   Doing What Is Just for Immigrants
Seán P. O’Malley, The Boston Globe, February 2. 2017
“People also move in unprecedented numbers across national frontiers, sometimes by choice and more often threatened by coercion, conflict, and natural catastrophes. For those coming to the United States seeking our assistance in time of need, we are called to consider our choices and the obligations of our duties.”

•   Apple, Facebook, Many Other Tech Firms Call Travel Ban ‘Unlawful’ in Rare Coordinated Legal Action
Elizabeth Dwoskin, The Washington Post, February 6, 2017
“The move represents a rare coordinated action across a broad swath of the industry — about a hundred companies in total — and demonstrates the depth of animosity toward the Trump order.”

•   A Resettlement Mission Upended by the Sweep of a President’s Pen
Dan Barry, The New York Times, February 5, 2017
“The Jan. 27 order abruptly closed the nation to refugees, upending the central mission of resettlement for the Lancaster office of the Church World Service, among other groups. So, that night, one staff member sought music to shout out his thoughts. Another, an Iraqi immigrant, endured a nightmare about federal agents coming to take him away.”

•   La disputa contra el decreto inmigratorio de Trump, un rompecabezas legal
AFP, Expansion, 7 de febrero de 2017
“La voluntad de Donald Trump de cerrar las fronteras de Estados Unidos a potenciales “terroristas” engendró un enorme rompecabezas jurídico en torno a una pregunta: ¿Hasta dónde llegan los poderes del presidente estadounidense en materia migratoria?”

•   Refugees Crossing Into Canada from US On Foot Despite Freezing Temperatures
Ashifa Kassam, The Guardian, February 7, 2017
“Uncertainty caused by Trump’s policies has pushed asylum seekers to take long, risky routes that in one case cost two Ghanaian men several fingers to frostbite.”

•   Juez permite a veterano hispano indocumentado permanecer en EEUU
Enrique García Fuentes, El Nuevo Herald, 6 Febrero 2017
“Un veterano hispano indocumentado puede por el momento permanecer en Estados Unidos hasta que el juez a cargo de su caso de deportación llegue a una decisión que podría durar unas semanas más, se anunció hoy.”

Interior Enforcement, Sanctuary Cities

•   She Showed Up Yearly to Meet Immigration Agents. Now They’ve Deported Her
Fernanda Santos, The New York Times, February 8, 2017
“For eight years, Guadalupe García de Rayos had checked in at the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement office here, a requirement since she was caught using a fake Social Security number during a raid in 2008 at a water park where she worked….she was deported Thursday to Nogales, Mexico, the same city where she crossed into the United States 21 years ago.”

•   Madre Indocumentada Ante la Deportación Tras Medidas Migratorias de Trump
Meridiano No 90,  8 de febrero de 2017
“La residente de Arizona Guadalupe García de Rayos fue víctima hace nueve años de una de las polémicas redadas del entonces alguacil del Condado Maricopa, Joe Arpaio, y tras vivir desde entonces en libertad ahora enfrenta la deportación con las nuevas directrices migratorias de Donald Trump.”

•   Fear Spreads in L.A. after Immigration ‘Raid,’ Advocates Claim. Officials Say Arrests Are ‘Routine.’
Samantha Schmidt, The Washington Post, February 10, 2017
“Immigrant advocate groups claim that more than 100 people had been taken into custody by federal immigration officials in Southern California Thursday, indicating a “coordinated sweep” in arrests and heightening fears that Donald Trump’s promise to crackdown on deportations had begun to take effect.”

•   Texas Lawmakers Rush to Take Up ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Bill
Jim Vertuno and Will Weissert , AP, The Washington Post, February 7, 2017
“Texas Republicans began their push Tuesday to ban so-called “sanctuary cities” in the state, taking up a hotly contested bill seeking to impose stricter immigration limits by withholding grant money from local jurisdictions that don’t hand over immigrants already in custody awaiting possible deportation.”

•   The Sanctuary Movement: Houses of Worship Shelter the Undocumented
Dwyer Gunn, The Guardian, February 8, 2017
“She plans to live at Mountain View, which as a house of worship is unlikely to be raided under current immigration policy, while she tries to reopen her criminal case and awaits a response from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) on the stay of deportation application she filed on 25 November.”

•   AP Explains: Can Trump Deny Funds to Sanctuary Cities?
Andrew Taylor,  AP, The Washington Post, February 6, 2017
“Most taxpayer money is beyond Trump’s control. But a relatively small portion of the federal budget involves grants distributed by agency and Cabinet department heads appointed by Trump, and those programs could be affected.”

U.S.- Mexico Border Wall, Enforcement

•   The Border Wall Is a Dangerous Waste
Clara Long, The Progressive, February 1, 2017
“In his first week as president, Donald Trump rushed to adopt policies that will deeply harm migrants, particularly asylum seekers. They will also fail to make the United States any safer. We know this because each of his orders would expand already disastrous border policies.”

•   How Exactly Would Mexico Pay for the Border Wall?
Wayne Cornelius, The Houston Chronicle, February 9, 2017
“President Donald Trump’s scheme to build a ‘big, beautiful, impenetrable’ wall on the southwestern border – and force Mexico to pay for it – is wildly unrealistic and won’t be effective in keeping undocumented migrants out.”

•   Jared Kushner Proves to be a Shadow Diplomat on U.S.-Mexico Talks
Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, and Joshua Partlow, The Washington Post, February 10, 2017
“Kushner’s back-channel communications with Mexico — the full extent of which has not been previously reported — reveal him to be almost a shadow secretary of state, operating outside the boundaries of the State Department or National Security Council.”

•   19,444 Gallons of Water in the Desert: How Volunteers Save Lives at the US Border
Carrot Quinn, The Guardian, February 9, 2017
“I’m in the desert with No More Deaths, a humanitarian aid organization that, each year, enlists hundreds of volunteers to hike deep into the wilderness with thousands of gallons of water in an attempt to prevent death and suffering along the US-Mexico border.”

•   Trump’s Executive Orders Could Drastically Expand Family Detention Centers
John Knefel, Truthout, February 5, 2017
“In reality, many of the people who show up at the southern border are women and children fleeing life-threatening circumstances and seeking asylum in the United States.”

•   Trump Administration Prepares to Execute “Vicious” Executive Order on Deportations
Ryan Devereaux, The Intercept, February 9, 2017
“As the world’s attention was occupied with the chaotic implementation of the travel ban and its dramatic domestic and international impacts, the Trump administration and the Department of Homeland Security have quietly moved forward with elements of the earlier executive orders, according to internal communications obtained by The Intercept.”

•   The Dangerous Expansion of Rushed Deportations Through Expedited Removal
Walter Ewing, Immigration Impact, February 8, 2017
“Trump’s executive order on the border wall contains another measure that has profound implications for the basic rights of millions of immigrants traveling to, or passing through, the United States. And that is the directive that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) vastly expand the use of ‘expedited removal.’”

•   Kelly Proposes US-Mexico Anti-Drug Pact, Insists on Border Wall
Latin American Herald Tribune
“US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Tuesday proposed before House lawmakers an alliance between the US and Mexico to fight drug trafficking, although he insisted that a border wall must be built and said that he hopes it will be well advanced within a couple of years.”

•   Southwest Border Apprehensions Down Sharply in January
Nikita Vladimirov, The Hill, February 9, 2017
“CNN noted that the drop in apprehensions is consistent with annual trends and that a similar 36 percent decrease was also registered in January of last year.”

•   Comunidades fronterizas se preparan para el “tratamiento Trump”
Pilar Marrero, La Opinión, 6 de febrero de 2017
“Aunque las historias apócrifas sobre el retiro de visas en cruces fronterizos por un ‘meme’ sobre Trump no han sido comprobadas, sí es correcto que las autoridades de inmigración en la zona ‘están revisando e interrogando más que nunca’ a quienes cruzan y viven en la frontera, señalaron activistas de la zona.”

•   Before the Wall: Life Along the U.S.-Mexico Border
Azam Ahmed, Manny Fernandez and Paulina Villegas, The New York Times, February 8, 2017
“The border spans 1,900 miles across four states – California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. Where a fence already stands, the surrounding dirt and grass tell the stories of those who try to cross it, those who patrol it and those who live next to it.”

•   San Diego, Tijuana Mayors Extol Virtues of Cross-border Ties
Elliot Spagat , AP, The  New York Times, February 6, 2017
“The mayors of the largest metropolitan area on the U.S.-Mexico border called Monday for stronger binational ties, striking a sharp contrast with U.S. President Donald Trump’s calls to build a wall and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.”

•   Trump’s Version of a Lawless US-Mexico Border is Being Disputed by the People Who Live There
Ana Campoy, Quartz, February 7, 2017
“Residents on both sides of the Mexico-United States border are tired of their region being painted as a lawless, dangerous place by US president Donald Trump. In response, they’re countering his vision with their own depictions of the border, sharing images of stunning sunsets, smiling children, and the urban sprawl that stretches from El Paso, Texas to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.”

Other U.S. Immigration News

•   Trump Presses Senators to Work Again on Immigration Reform
Ed O’Keefe and Philip Rucker, The Washington Post, February 9, 2017
“President Trump said Thursday that he was open to considering a comprehensive immigration reform plan if senators come up with a new one, but he said he opposes a 2013 proposal that passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support”

•   In Trump’s Capital, Undocumented Immigrants Live and Work in the Shadow of the White House
Theresa Vargas and Steve Hendrix, The Washington Post, February 8, 2017
“There are 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country and while many are watching from a as their fates are decided in the nation’s capital, there are others who share streets, sidewalks and Metro trains with the very people making those decisions.”

•   Cinco formas en las que el senador Jeff Sessions podría atacar a los inmigrantes como Fiscal General
David Leopold, Univision Noticias, 6 enero de 2017
“La nominación del senador Jeff Sessions (R-AL) para ser el Fiscal General de la nación es una clara y ominosa señal de que el presidente electo Donald Trump tiene la total intención de hacer cumplir su llamado a la deportación masiva, el registro de musulmanes y las radicales restricciones a la inmigración legal.”

•   Senadores republicanos presentan proyecto de ley para eliminar inmigración de padres y hermanos
Pilar Marrero, La Opinión, 7 de febrero de 2017
“La medida reduciría en cientos de miles las visas anuales para “green cards” afectando a varias categorías de inmigración legal familiar.”

•   Cotton and Trump Plot Crackdown on Legal Immigration
Seung Min Kim, Politico, February 7, 2017
“Cotton’s new legislation, being formally proposed Tuesday with Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and detailed exclusively with POLITICO in advance of its release, swings an axe at the nation’s green-card system by eliminating several avenues for U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor family members for green cards.”

•   Which Side Is Donald Trump on in the Fight Over Legal Immigration?
Benjy Sarlin, ABC News, February 7, 2017
“President Donald Trump is best known for his stance against illegal immigration, but activists are gearing up for a broader ideological fight over whether legal immigrants and foreign workers benefit the country.”

Mexico Migration Enforcement

•   Migrantes centroamericanos prefieren radicar en México que arriesgar la vida al cruzar a EU
Fernando Camacho Servín, La Jornada, 6 de febrero de 2017
“Aunque aquí hay problemas, es más tranquilo que sus países de origen: especialista”

•   El Sabueso: ¿Los migrantes ya no sufren todo tipo de delitos en México, como dice Osorio Chong?
Manu Ureste, Animal Político, 10 de febrero de 2017
“El secretario de Gobernación, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, dijo que los migrantes que transitan por México ya no sufren ‘todo tipo de delitos’. Las estadísticas oficiales contradicen al funcionario.”

•   697 Cases of Immigrant Abuse Are Under Investigation in Mexico
Elena Toledo, Panam Post, February 7, 2017
“Five years ago, the General Procurator of the Republic (PGR), the equivalent of the Attorney General in other countries, began 697 pretrial investigations, as well as investigation files for crimes committed against immigrants in Mexico in which government and federal authorities may be involved.”

•   Senadores piden protección a migrantes centroamericanos
Silvia Arellano y Angélica Mercado, Política, 2 de febrero de 2017
“Es necesario cambiar una parte de la ley y políticas públicas para apoyar as los migrantes”

•   Regresa México a 94% de centroamericanos; en 2016 fueron 143 mil
Andrea Meraz, Excelsior, 10 de febrero de 2017
“Se duplica el porcentaje de mujeres migrantes que transitan por México rumbo a Estados Unidos, según un estudio”

•   Suben las deportaciones de centroamericanos desde México
Diego Badillo, El Economista, 4 de Febrero de 2017
“Bajan las deportaciones de mexicanos desde EU y suben las de centroamericanos desde México”

•   El muro empieza en el sur
Jacobo García, El País, 7 de febrero de 2017
“México alcanza cifras récord en deportaciones mientras se disparan un 1000% las solicitudes de refugiados. Las organizaciones hablan de ‘crisis humanitaria’ en la frontera sur”

•   The Walls Within: Mexico Struggles for Unity Against Trump
David Argen, The Guardian, February 10, 2017
“At his taco stand in a Mexico City food court, Ismael Apátiga expresses disdain for Donald Trump and the US president’s plans to force Mexico to pay for a border wall. But his antipathy towards Trump does not translate into support for his own president, Enrique Peña Nieto, whose approval rating is hovering at a record low of around 12%.”

Root Causes, Country Conditions

•   We Fear Soldiers More than Gangsters’: El Salvador’s ‘Iron Fist’ Policy Turns Deadly
Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, February 6, 2017
“But the street gangs are not the only factions involved in the violence. State security forces have laid virtual siege to gang-controlled communities where being a young male is enough to get you arrested, tortured or killed.”

•   Central American Children Living with Violence and without Recourse
Vicki Gass, OXFAM, February 6, 2017
“Last week, President Trump slammed the door on Central American children fleeing violence — gang violence, violence from common crime, gender violence, and domestic violence…the violence of poverty.  The reasons children leave their homes behind are hard for many of us to imagine here in the United States. Violence is a dominant motive, along with a will to live.”

•   Sigue la violencia en el triángulo Norte
La Prensa Gráfica, 5 de febrero de 2017
“Al menos 17,394 homicidios se cometieron en Centroamérica en 2016, un 9,9%menos que en 2015. A pesar de lo anterior, la zona es una de las más peligrosas del mundo.”

•   El Salvador to Extend ‘Extraordinary’ Anti-Gang Measures until 2018
Leonardo Goi, InSight Crime, February 8, 2017
“Officials in El Salvador agreed to extend “extraordinary measures” to fight organized crime despite doubts about their effectiveness and alleged threats to citizens’ rights, raising questions about the motives for the government’s decision.”

•   Sinaloa Cartel-Linked Drug Network Dismantled in El Salvador
David Gagne, InSight Crime, February 7, 2017
“Authorities in El Salvador have captured nearly two dozen members of a criminal network with ties to the Sinaloa Cartel, highlighting the importance of Central America’s Northern Triangle region to the hemisphere’s most powerful drug trafficking organization.”

•   IACHR Condemns Murders of Human Rights Defenders in the Region
IACHR, February 7, 2017
“The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expresses its utmost concern regarding the large number of killings of human rights defenders at the outset of 2017, and reiterates its concern for defenders of land rights and natural resources, as well as indigenous and Afro-descendant human rights defenders, who continue to face high risks of violence.”

•   Mexico’s Law on Internal Security: Turning a Blind Eye to Military Abuses in Public Security Operations
Ximena Suarez-Enriquez and Maureen Meyer, WOLA, February 8, 2017
“In 2006, then-President Felipe Calderón increased dramatically the deployment of Mexico’s armed forces to combat organized crime in the country as a temporary yet urgent measure”

•   EUA desembolsa $97.9 millones de Alianza para la Prosperidad
Amanda Hernández Moreno, La Prensa Gráfica, 7 de febrero de 2017
“Este dinero irá direccionado hacia “los territorios priorizados en el plan El Salvador Seguro, así como los priorizados en FOMILENIO II, de forma que se unifique la mayoría de esfuerzos en los 50 municipios identificados con altos índices de violencia”, dijo ayer la cancillería salvadoreña.”

•   Es Juárez el municipio con más ejecuciones del país
Reforma, El Diario MX, 2 de febrero de 2017
“El año inició más violento que nunca al registrarse durante el mes de enero una ejecución cada hora en promedio, de acuerdo con el Ejecutómetro de Grupo Reforma.”

•   Mexican Deputies Toughen Up Femicide Legislation
Zorayda Gallegos, El País, February 6, 2017
“Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies has approved a reform to make femicide a serious crime meriting preventive prison. Under current legislation, a suspect may be released pending trial, creating a risk for witnesses and other potential victims, according to human rights groups.”

Actions and Resources

•   Petition: Tell Congress to Stand for Compassion and Common Sense: Protect Children & Families Seeking Refuge!
Latin America Working Group, February 2017
“Sign the petition below today to urge Congress to stand for compassionate immigration and refugee policies and to END unjust and unreasonable executive orders.”

•   Migrantes y refugiados; una crisis humanitaria en cifras y rutas
El País, 6 febrero de 2017
“En pleno debate sobre la protección a los mexicanos indocumentados en Estados Unidos, México alcanza cifras récord de deportaciones de centroamericanos. Enrique Peña Nieto expulsó el año pasado más que el propio Barack Obama, uno de los presidentes más duros en materia migratoria.”

•   Watch Recording for Case: State of Washington, et. al. v. Donald J. Trump
United States Court for the Ninth Circuit, February 7, 2017

•   Barriers Along the U.S. Borders: Key Authorities and Requirements
Michael John Garcia, Congressional Research Service, January 27, 2017
“Until recently, interest in the framework governing the deployment of barriers along the
international border typically focused on the stringency of the statutory mandate to deploy
fencing along at least 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. But attention has now shifted to those provisions of law that permit deployment of fencing or other physical barriers along additional mileage.”

•   Guía para entender los tropiezos legales del decreto inmigratorio de Trump
Euan McKirdy, CNN, 7 de febrero de 2017
“Te ayudamos a ponerte al día en lo que ha pasado con una de las medidas más polémicas que ha tomado el nuevo presidente de Estados Unidos.”

•   The DACA Era and the Continuous Legalization Work of the US Immigrant-Serving Community
Donald Kerwin, Roberto Suro, Tess Thorman, Daniela Alulema, Center for Migration Studies, February 8, 2017
“The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) initiated a study on the multi-faceted work of non-governmental and community-based organizations (NGOs and CBOs) and their public and private partners to implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and (more broadly) to build capacity to serve immigrants.”

•   9 cosas que debes saber si eres inmigrante y vives en EEUU
Redacción, La Opinión, 8 de febrero de 2017
“A continuación, un listado de qué tener en cuenta dependiendo tu estatus en el país.”

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