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Central America/Mexico Migration News Brief for February 27, 2017

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This week’s MNB focuses on updates on the U.S. immigration and refugee executive orders and raids, 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. Border & Interior Immigration Enforcement

•   Standing up to President Trump’s Harmful Policies in Defense of Migrant Rights
Daniella Burgi Palomino, Latin America Working Group, February 22, 2017
“In only his third week of his presidency, U.S. President Donald Trump has issued a total of eleven executive orders ranging on issues from immigration and healthcare to banking regulations. The three immigration and refugee executive orders emitted between January 25th and January 27th , 2017 are ineffective, costly and directly place families, unaccompanied children, legal residents, young Dreamers, border communities and all undocumented immigrants at risk for removal or violations of their rights.”

•   Donald Trump Can Deport People Without Even Giving Them a Hearing
Laura Smith, Mother Jones, February 27, 2017
“Last week, the Trump administration released its blueprint for implementing the president’s executive orders on immigration. Not only did it lay out plans to vastly increase the number of undocumented people vulnerable to deportation, but it also revealed that the feds intend to deport many more people caught in their immigration crackdown immediately after their arrest.”

•   Trump Says Deportations a ‘Military Operation;’ Homeland Chief Says No
David Agren, USA Today, February 23, 2017
“President Trump said Thursday his plan to deport undocumented immigrants is a ‘military operation,’ a comment that seemed to undercut Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly’s assurances that there would be ‘no mass deportations’ or use of the U.S. military in immigration enforcement plans.”

•   El secretario del DHS, John Kelly, asegura que no habrá deportaciones masivas
Noticias Telemundo, AP, 22 de febrero de 2017
“El secretario de Seguridad Nacional de Estados Unidos John F. Kelly se reunió el miércoles con el presidente de Guatemala Jimmy Morales y le aseguró que no habrá deportaciones masivas, dijo el canciller del país centroamericano.”

•   Trump’s New Immigration Directives: Stricter Enforcement and More Deportations
Del Quentin Wilber and Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times, February 21, 2017
“Immigration enforcement officers are free to target any of the 11 million people in the U.S. illegally for removal, the Trump administration said Tuesday, a vast expansion of the federal government’s deportation priorities as the president pursues his promised crackdown on illegal immigration.”

•   Trump Keeps Protection for Dreamers, Orders Hiring of 15,000 Border Agents
Latin American Herald Tribune
“The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday issued two memos signed by Secretary John Kelly, thus beginning the rollout of President Donald Trump’s plans for a broadened crackdown on illegal immigration into the US”

•   Memos Signed by DHS Secretary Describe Sweeping New Guidelines for Deportations
David Nakamura, The Washington Post, February 18, 2017
“In a pair of memos, Kelly offered more detail on plans for the agency to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speed up deportation hearings and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests.”

•   Hasta 8 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados serían prioridad para deportar, según memorando filtrado del Departamento de Estado
Noticiero Univision, 20 de febrero de 2017
“De acuerdo a una fuente citada por el diario Los Angeles Times y basados en memorandos firmados por el secretario de Seguridad Nacional, John Kelly, entre la lista de prioridad para deportar también se encuentran personas que no han cometido delitos, pero que se les considera sospechosos de cometer actos que pueden convertirse en un delito penal.”

•   Trump’s Deportation Rules Will Make America Unsafe Again
Tom Jawetz, Fortune, February 24, 2017
“When President Donald Trump signed an immigration enforcement executive order during his first week in office, he titled it “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.” But new deportation rules released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) make clear that the Trump administration’s approach to immigration enforcement will do anything but enhance public safety.”

•   ICE Agents Take Undocumented Mom with Brain Tumor from Hospital to Detention Center
Jenna Amatulli, The Washington Post, February 23, 2017
“An undocumented woman from El Salvador awaiting brain surgery to remove a tumor was taken from a Texas hospital and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents Wednesday night, her legal team says.”

•   ‘Psychological Warfare’: Immigrants in America Held Hostage by Fear of Raids
Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian, February 18, 2017
“‘I’ve had border patrol ask me for my documents just going for a jog by my house. I’d go to get a gallon of milk at the store and have officers stop me and say ‘Well, what are you doing?,’ she said. Adding the national guard would be even more ‘invasive’ and add to the already ‘ominous’ atmosphere of border towns, she added.”

•   The Road, or Flight, From Detention to Deportation
Fernanda Santos, The New York Times, February 20, 2017
“For undocumented immigrants, the path between detention and deportation is sometimes long and usually twisted. An immigration judge’s deportation order can be appealed — to the Board of Immigration Appeals and, in a very small number of cases, all the way to the Supreme Court.”

•   Q&A: The Missing Voices in the Immigration Debate
Kristina Shull, Open Society Foundations, February 16, 2017
“Kristina Shull is a 2016 Soros Justice Fellow working to expose abuses in the immigration detention system, and lift up the voices of migrants. She is the author of a new report on media coverage of detention issues for a nonprofit organization called Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC). She spoke with Tom Watson, senior editorial advisor, about the report’s findings.”

•   Police Fear Trump Immigration Orders May Handcuff Effort to Fight Gangs
Liz Robbins, The New York Times, February 22, 2017
“‘The last thing I want is a fearful community,’ the Suffolk County police commissioner, Timothy Sini, said in a recent interview. ‘Whether it’s fear of criminals or fear of law enforcement. We solve crimes based on people coming to us. It’s that simple. If people think they’re going to get deported every time they speak to a police officer, it’s not helpful.’”

•   Bills Curb Md. Assistance in Federal Immigration Enforcement
Carrie Snurr, The Washington Post, February 21, 2017
“A pair of bills would restrict the involvement of law enforcement agencies in Maryland with federal immigration efforts, banning state government agents from asking crime victims or suspects about their immigration or citizenship status.”

•   Immigrant Children Who Cross Border Alone Find Themselves in Chicago Shelters
Alison Bowen, Chicago Tribune, February 24, 2017
“Nearly 60,000 children came across the U.S. border without their parents during the fiscal year ending in September, according to the Administration for Children and Families. Thousands landed in Illinois, where 2,300 kids last year were placed by the agency in juvenile detention centers, called shelters, as they awaited a decision on whether they’d be released to relatives in the U.S., remain in detention or be deported.”

•   Trump quiere comenzar el muro con México lo antes posible
La opinión, 24 de febrero de 2017
El departamento de Seguridad Interior de Estados Unidos publicó un anunció alertando a las empresas interesadas del inicio del proceso para presentar propuestas y ofertas para la obra. Ya hay un calendario para la licitación.

•   DHS May Relax Hiring Requirements to Meet Border Agent Goal: Report
Mallory Shelbourne, The Hill, February 26, 2017
 “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking to relax hiring requirements for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials in order to comply with President Trump’s call for additional immigration officials. According to memos written by CBP acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and obtained by Foreign Policy, CBP may need to alter its employment process in order to increase the number of agents from 19,627 to 26,370.”

•   Reports: Immigration Programs Benefit the Economy, Families
Lydia Wheeler, The Hill, February 25, 2017
“Undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. collectively pay about $11.64 billion yearly in state and local taxes, a new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found. This week’s report comes as the Supreme Court prepares to hear a case this term challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The programs Obama launched last year, which aim to shield as many as 5 million immigrants in the country illegally from deportation, have been on hold since a federal judge ruled that Texas and 25 other states have a legitimate basis to challenge the programs.”

•   Trump Immigration Policies Pose Conflict for Police in ‘Sanctuary Cities’
Farah Stockman and David Goodman, The New York Times, February 24, 2017
“As Mr. Trump ratchets up the pressure on so-called sanctuary cities through what some advocates are denouncing as a ‘name-and-shame’ campaign to force them to work more closely with federal immigration authorities, police and sheriff’s departments are being caught in a crossfire.”

•   The Immigration Facts Donald Trump Doesn’t Like
The New York Times, February 25, 2017
“Let’s be clear: The moral case against President Trump’s plan to uproot and expel millions of unauthorized immigrants is open-and-shut. But what about the economic cost? This is where deeply shameful collides with truly stupid.”

U.S. Travel, Refugee Ban

•   White House Punts New Travel Order to Next Week
Jordan Fabian, The Hill, February 22, 2017
“The White House is pushing back the release of a revised executive order on travel and refugees until next week, an official said Wednesday. No explanation was given for the delay, and it remains unclear how the White House will tweak the travel ban to avoid future legal pitfalls.”

•   Trump’s Travel Ban, Take Two
Marianne Levine, Politico, February 21, 2017
“One big change: green-card holders will be exempt from the ban, as they were not in the original.”

•   AP Source: Revised Travel Ban Targets Same Countries
Vivian Salama, The Washington Post, February 20, 2017
“A draft of President Donald Trump’s revised immigration ban targets the same seven countries listed in his original executive order and exempts travelers who already have a visa to travel to the U.S., even if they haven’t used it yet.”

•   Trump ‘More Streamlined’ Travel Ban Will Have a Rollout Plan
The New York Times, February 18, 2017
“During a panel, Mr. Kelly said that President Trump was ‘contemplating issuing a tighter, more streamlined version’ of the order, which has been suspended by federal courts.”

•   Trump alista su nueva orden ejecutiva sobre inmigrantes y refugiados
EFE, La Opinión, 19 febrero 2017
“El presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, confirmó en Florida que la próxima semana presentará una nueva orden ejecutiva sobre inmigrantes y refugiados, y que iniciará ‘pronto’ la construcción de un muro en la frontera con México.”

Mexican Immigration Enforcement, Updates

•   Deported Migrants Heading to Limbo
Lauren Villagran, Albuquerque Journal, February 27, 2017
“Now sweeping new immigration enforcement plans under the Trump administration could trample those accords with a provision that includes turning back to Mexico unauthorized immigrants who aren’t Mexican citizens, if they cross the U.S. southern border and want to claim asylum or other immigration relief – a plan Mexico has decried.”

•  On the Other Side of the Wall: Mexicans on the Border are ‘Psychologically Traumatized’
Patrick McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2017
“At a shelter here across the border from Arizona, volunteers are stocking food and other supplies in case of a large influx of deportees from the other side.”

•   Esto les espera a los migrantes que sean deportados a la frontera norte de México
Sergio Rincón, Univision, 22 de febrero de 2017
“El gobierno de EEUU ha revelado sus planes de repatriar a México a los indocumentados que hayan ingresado por ese país, independientemente de su lugar de origen. Pero los datos muestran que quienes dan más apoyo a los repatriados son las organizaciones civiles que ya no se dan abasto.”

•   Mexican Kidnappers Pile Misery on to Central Americans Fleeing Violence
Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, February 21, 2017
“But most migrants passing through Mexico are Central American refugees fleeing violence and poverty. And during their passage to the US, they are more likely to become victims of crime: migrants are routinely targeted by bandits and kidnappers – often working hand in glove with members of the security forces.”

•   Donald Trump’s Envoys Head to Mexico as Cracks Emerge in Border Wall Plan
Rory Carroll, The Guardian, February 22, 2017
“Mexico will host its first high-profile Donald Trump envoys this week with at least one consolation: the proposed border wall is itself walled in, for now, by Washington bureaucracy.”

•   Mexico ‘Will Not Accept’ Trump Deportation Guideline
Mark Hensch, The Hill, February 22, 2017
“I want to say clearly and emphatically that the government of Mexico and the Mexican people do not have to accept provisions that one government unilaterally wants to impose on the other,” Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said Wednesday, according to Reuters.”

•   Mexican Ex-President Hopes US Envoys Display More Statesmanship Than Trump
Latin American Herald Tribune
“I hope (the visit) is useful and that the American officials have a much more mature, sensible and down-to-earth statesman-like perspective than that of President Trump,” Calderon, of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), told EFE on Tuesday, describing the US head of state as someone who plays to the media and acts as if he is still on the campaign trail.”

•   Mexico: We’ll Go to the U.N. to Defend ‘Human Rights’ of Mexicans in U.S.
Susan Jones, CNS News, February 24, 2017
“Mexico’s foreign minister says his government will seek the intervention of the United Nations if necessary to defend the human rights of its citizens caught up in the Trump administration’s tough new approach to illegal immigration.”

•   Mexico Signals Resistance to Harder U.S. Line on Immigration
Felicia Schwartz and Robbie Whelan, The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2017
“As U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly arrived in Mexico on Wednesday, Mexico’s foreign minister identified the Trump administration’s new immigration guidelines as the main topic of high-level discussions set to begin this evening in Mexico City.”

•   Mexican Officials Riled by Trump’s New Deportation Memos
Nahal Toosi, Politico, February 21, 2017
“As Mexican officials rushed to contact the State Department for more information, the timing of the guidelines’ release threatened to severely hinder what could have been a diplomatic make-up session, U.S. and Mexican officials and analysts said.”

Root Causes, Country Conditions

•  Centroamérica no puede atender a los deportados
Giuliana Bottari, La Prensa Grafica, 26 de febrero de 2017
“Un estudio de FUNDAUNGO reveló que ninguno de los países del Triángulo Norte está preparado para atender deportaciones masivas procedentes de EUA.”

•   The Unintended Consequences of Deporting Criminals
Joshua Keating, Slate, February 23, 2017
“Wednesday, in a meeting with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, U.S. Homeland Security chief John Kelly appeared to contradict the prevalent understanding of Donald Trump’s recent deportation directives, assuring the Guatemalans that rather than deporting people en masse, the administration would simply step up deportations of people with criminal records.”

•   How Trump’s Deportation Crackdown Could Sink El Salvador
Ioan Grillo, Time, February 23, 2017
“The family’s anxiety is shared by millions in this small Central American nation of coffee growers and sugar plantations. About 1.2 million people who were born in El Salvador live in the United States and, last year, they sent home $4.6 billion – equivalent to 17% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), one of the highest remittance rates in the world.”

•   Human Rights: in Mexico and Central America a Sad Record of Violations
News.VA, February 21, 2017
“The Annual Report 2016 of Amnesty International was presented yesterday, February 22, which states that in 2016 there was an acceleration of the human rights crisis in Latin America. Countries like Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala were among the hardest hit from abuse and impunity for human rights violations.”

•   Violencia aumentó notablemente en México: Amnistía Internacional
Roana De Caro, Hoyentv, 24 de febrero de 2017
“En su informe anual sobre derechos humanos, el organismo destacó que estas políticas de la división, como las que enarbola el presidente Donald Trump en Estados Unidos, generan miedo y amenazan con hacer retroceder compromisos mundiales sobre derechos humanos.”

•   El 2017 tiene el arranque más violento del que haya registro; homicidios aumentaron en 25 estados
Arturo Ángel, Animal Político, 21 de febrero de 2017
“El 2017 es el año con el arranque más violento del que se tenga registro en México: mil 938 homicidios en enero. Desde 1997, cuando se comenzaron a registrar los casos de homicidio doloso, nunca se habían registrado tantos asesinatos en el primer mes de algún año.”

•   Almost 500 Military Deaths Since Start of Mexico’s Drug War
David Gagne, InSight Crime, February 21, 2017
“Mexico’s defense secretary says nearly 500 military personnel have been killed since the start of the country’s drug war a decade ago, an alarmingly high figure that nonetheless pales in comparison to the huge number of civilian casualties over the same period.”

•   How Access to Justice Can Stop a Problem from Turning into a Crisis
Peter Chapman & Zaza Namoradze, Open Society Foundations, February 17, 2017
“Roughly 60 percent of the 600 people surveyed had experienced such an event, mostly over lack of access to government services. Of them 60 percent again said that the trouble had affected their health and well-being; 35 percent said they had lost money, and 14 percent had family problems as a result. The legal trouble affected not just the individual involved, but also family members.”

•   US Congress Members Support CentAm Anti-Corruption Efforts
Mike LaSusa, InSight Crime, February 17, 2017
“The resolution notes the existence of “widespread corruption in Central America” — particularly in the “Northern Triangle” countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala — and states that “combating corruption in the Northern Triangle must remain a top policy priority for the United States in Central America.”

•   New Statistics Highlight Mexico’s Deteriorating Security Situation
Tristan Clavel, InSight Crime, February 22, 2017
“Mexico’s federal government on February 20 published the latest data concerning recorded crimes in 2016 and January 2017. The compilation of homicide figures show that the country suffered 20,792 homicides in 2016, the highest number since 2012.”

•   The Trend of Femicides in Latin America on the Rise in 2017
Telesur, February 22, 2017
“A recent report released by Argentina’s Wanda Taddei Institute found that 57 women had been killed so far in 2017, one of the highest rate in the region. While in 2016, one woman was estimated to die every 30 hours on average, now the time frame has lowered to every 18 hours.”

Actions and Resources

•   Discretion to Deny: Family Separation, Prolonged Detention, and Deterrence of Asylum Seekers at the Hands of Immigration Authorities Along the US-Mexico Border
Borderland Immigration Council, February 2017
“This report identifies failures of immigration agencies and officials in the El Paso Sector to respect fundamental human rights and dignity.”

•   Asylum Under Threat
Human Rights First, Fact Sheet, February 2017
“Impact of President Trump’s Immigration Executive Orders and the Department of
Homeland Security’s Memoranda on Asylum Seekers”

•   AILA Summary and Analysis of the DHS Memorandum on Border Enforcement
AILA Doc. No. 17022001, American Immigration Lawyers Association, February 21, 2017
“AILA provides a detailed summary and analysis of the February 20, 2017, DHS memorandum signed by Secretary Kelly, ‘Implementing the President’s Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies.’”

•   AILA Summary and Analysis of the DHS Memorandum on Interior Enforcement
American Immigration Lawyers Association, AILA Doc. No. 17022000, February 21, 2017
“AILA provides a detailed summary and analysis of the February 20, 2017, DHS memorandum signed by Secretary Kelly, ‘Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest.’”

•   Executive Orders on Protecting the Homeland
Department of Homeland Security, February 2017
Access the full text of the recent immigration executive orders, implementation memos, and fact sheets here.

•   Response to Immigration Raids and other Attacks Against Immigrants and Refugees
Indivisible, February 22, 2017
“While Indivisible’s mission is to empower groups to realize their constituent power through congressional advocacy, we also want to recognize how important this issue is for all of us. Below are some suggested local activities to help protect immigrants and to fight back these anti-immigrant attacks.”

•   Justice for Immigrants-Resources
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Justice for Immigrants
“On this page, you will find various downloadable informational resources to use as handouts or for your general information.”

•   Sign on Letter to DHS and ICE: Impact of Executive Actions on Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
“We, the undersigned organizations who support, serve and/or advocate on behalf of immigrant survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking, oppose the Administration’s executive orders on immigration and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) February 20, 2017 implementation memos, which fail to protect immigrant victims of crime, reduce the likelihood of immigrant victims or witnesses reporting crimes, empower traffickers and abusers, contravene existing protections afforded by law, and create unprecedented fear for immigrant families and communities.”

•   VA Faith Leader Sign On Letter
“As faith leaders from various traditions, we urge you to oppose the following anti-immigrant and anti-refugee bills—House Bill 2236, Senate Bill 1262, HB 1468, House Bill 1723, House Bill 2002, and House Bill 2093. As people of faith, we look first to our common values rooted in our sacred texts that remind us to love our neighbor and welcome the stranger among us.”

•   Legislative Bulletin – Friday, February 17, 2017
Christian Penichet-Paul, National Immigration Forum, February 17, 2017
“Bills Introduced and Considered, Legislative floor calendar”