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Central America/Mexico Migration News Brief for June 2, 2017

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A compilation of recent top articles and reports 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: ebuckhout@lawg.org.

In this edition: Travel/Refugee Ban; TPS; Trump Administration Budget; SB4 & Legislation; U.S. Immigration Enforcement; U.S.-Mexico Border; Mexican Immigration Enforcement; Root Causes.

Travel/Refugee Ban

Trump Takes Travel Ban Fight to Supreme Court
Todd Ruger,Roll Call, June 2, 2017
“The Trump administration turned to the Supreme Court late Thursday in its effort to implement its revised travel ban, asking the justices to quickly reverse an appeals court ruling that is ‘wrong’ to conclude the national security policy move was likely unconstitutional in how it treats Muslims.”

Trump Administration to Supreme Court: Give Us the Travel Ban Now, Rule on It Later
Dara Lind,Vox, June 2, 2017
“In an unusual and aggressive move, the administration wants to skip a few steps in the court process.”

Federal Appeals Court Maintains Freeze of Trump’s Travel Ban. Attorney General Vows Supreme Court Appeal.
Ann E. Marimow and Robert Barnes, The Washington Post, May 25, 2017
“A federal appeals court on Thursday left in place the freeze on President Trump’s revised entry ban, handing the administration another legal setback in its efforts to block the issuance of new visas to citizens of six Muslim-majority countries.”


DHS Chief Tells Haiti’s President: Start Thinking about Bringing Haitians on TPS Home
Jacqueline Charles,Miami Herald, June 1, 2017
“U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly continued to cast uncertainty Thursday on the fate of tens of thousands of Haitians who have been temporarily allowed to live and work in the United States, but he said Congress may ultimately resolve the issue by changing the legislation.”

Haitians Get 6 Months of Protection from Deportation — but Told Prepare to Leave U.S.
Jacqueline Charles,Miami Herald, May 22, 2017
“The Department of Homeland Security is extending the benefit, which expires on July 22, for six months. But the end is coming, DHS officials warned, telling the 58,706 Haitians enrolled in the Temporary Protected Status program, or TPS, to use the time ‘to handle their affairs.’”

Haitians with Temporary Protected Status on Notice: Are Salvadorans and Hondurans Next?
Vicki Gass, Oxfam, May 24, 2017
“There are over 186,000 Salvadorans and 70,200 Hondurans with TPS right now who, like the Haitians, have built families, businesses and homes here in the United States. Will they be returned to their countries racked with violence, insecurity and minimal opportunities…?”

Trump Administration Budget

Trump’s Budget: A Blow to Our Communities, and to Our Latin American Neighbors
Lisa Haugaard, Latin America Working Group, May 24, 2017
“The most dramatic impact of President’s Trump’s hard-hearted budget on our Latin American neighbors, especially Mexico and Central America, would be how it ramps up draconian immigration enforcement. And this will have dramatic ripple effects among our communities at home.”

Trump’s 2018 Foreign Aid Budget Would Deal a Devastating Blow to Latin America
Adam Isacson, WOLA, May 24, 2017
“The Trump administration’s 2018 budget request to Congress would slash assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean by 35 percent from 2016 levels. The $1.2 billion in State Department-run assistance proposed for next year would be the least the region has received since 2001 (see historic economic and military aid here).”

AILA Quicktake #204: Trump Administration Budget Proposal
AILA, May 24, 2017
“On May 23, President Trump released his Fiscal Year 2018 budget request, which would fund massive increases in immigration enforcement and border security. AILA’s Director of Government Relations Greg Chen shares how the proposed budget would undermine due process and what members can do.”

People Would Rather Fly United Than on This Airline
Gabe Ortiz,Daily Kos, June 2, 2017
“ICE Air stands to be one of the programs that will be turbo-boosted if Trump is able to see out his mass deportation vision, which will not only be ‘one of the worst global humanitarian atrocities in recent history,’ but an expensive one too.”

SB4 and Legislation

Why Police Chiefs Oppose Texas’s New Anti-immigrant Law
Jonathan Blitzer,The New Yorker, June 2, 2017
“Texas’s law, known as Senate Bill 4 (S.B. 4), is in some ways even harsher than the one Arizona passed seven years ago: the new measure allows state authorities to punish any police chief or sheriff who tells his or her subordinates not to act as de-facto immigration agents. Violators face steep fines (a thousand dollars for the first offense and up to twenty-five thousand dollars thereafter) as well as potential removal from office.”

New Republican Bills Would Ramp Up A Trump Deportation Force
Elise Foley,Huffington Post, May 16, 2017
“House Republicans are moving forward this week with an attempt to make President Donald Trump’s promised “deportation force” even bigger and, potentially, more heavily armed.”

Qué es el HR 2431 y por qué cambiaría por completo las leyes migratorias en EEUU
La Opinión, 19 de mayo de 2017
“Un proyecto de ley de inmigración que hoy se delibera en la Cámara de Representantes de Estados Unidos alteraría por completo la defensa que ofrece una ciudad ‘santuario’, puesto que tiene como objetivo obligar a agencias policiales locales a cooperar con agentes de inmigración, quieran o no.”

U.S. Immigration Enforcement

Immigration Arrests Up 38% Nationwide under Trump
Alan Gomez,USA Today, May 17, 2017
“In the 100 days since President Trump signed an executive order to enhance immigration enforcement, the arrests of undocumented immigrants is up 38% from the same time period in 2016, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data released Wednesday.”

Immigration Arrests Soar under Trump; Sharpest Spike Seen for Noncriminals
Maria Sacchetti,The Washington Post, May 17, 2017
“Federal immigration agents are arresting more than 400 immigrants a day, a sharp leap from last year that reflects one of President Trump’s most far-reaching campaign promises.”

¿Qué son la “redadas silenciosas” de ICE y cómo te puedes proteger?
La Opinión, 19 de mayo de 2017
“ICE en lugar de allanar abiertamente lugares de trabajo o detener públicamente a trabajadores indocumentados, están acudiendo a lugares donde esta comunidad realiza trámites federales para arrestarlos.”

Harsh U.S. Immigration Policies Are Causing Mental, Social Harm to American Children
Lucille Roybal-Allard, Grace Napolitano, and Pramila Jayapal,The Hill, May 31, 2017
“Currently, too many children live in daily fear that their parents could be arrested, detained or deported at any moment.”

Deportation Evil Exposed in 3 Paragraphs
EJ Montini,The Republic, June 1, 2017
“Everything that’s wrong with President Donald Trump’s deportation program is evident in the case of Magana Ortiz, the polar opposite of a ‘bad hombre’ whom the Trump administration is deporting.”

Ice Agents Are Out of Control. And They Are Only Getting Worse
Trevor Timm,The Guardian, May 31, 2017
“Depraved stories like this are now almost too prevalent to comprehensively count: Ice has arrested undocumented immigrants showing up for scheduled green card appointments at a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. They’ve arrested a father after dropping his daughter off at school. An Ice detainee was even removed forcefully against her will from a hospital where she was receiving treatment for a brain tumor.”

Is It Possible to Resist Deportation in Trump’s America?
Marcela Valdes,The New York Times Magazine, May 23, 2017
“Living under draconian state laws, Arizona activists honed an effective strategy for keeping undocumented immigrants in the country. Can the same tools still work today?”

Aparecen panfletos falsos en Washington DC para que reporten indocumentados a ICE
Univision y AP, 1 de junio de 2017
“Aunque usan el logo gubernamental, la agencia de inmigración aclara que no tiene nada que ver con ellos y los tacha de ‘peligrosos e irresponsables’. En Chicago circularon planfletos similares hace unos días.”

Prosecutors Protect Immigrants from Deportation for Minor Crimes
Richard Gonzales,NPR, May 31, 2017

“Prosecutors have wide latitude when negotiating plea deals. It typically depends on the facts of each case. In several U.S. cities now, prosecutors are using their discretion to protect defendants who are immigrants. They want to ensure that immigrants, whether here illegally or seeking citizenship, don’t get deported for minor crimes.”

The Immigrant Crackdown Is a Cash Cow for Private Prisons
Samuel Gilbert,Vice, May 31, 2017
“Ragsdale isn’t the first to go from ICE to GEO, but his move underscored the close relationship between the federal agency tasked with detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants and the private prison industry that helps house those detained immigrants. As of last year, more than two-thirds of immigrant detainees were housed in private facilities.”

Salvadoran Mom of 2 with Minor Driving Conviction Detained by ICE in Fairfax
Maria Sacchetti and Antonio Olivo,The Washington Post, May 18, 2017
“Federal immigration officials detained an undocumented woman from Falls Church who came to their offices for a routine check-in on Thursday, drawing angry protests from advocates who say President Trump should focus on deporting those who pose a public-safety threat.”

ICE Agents Arrest Undocumented Honduran Man in Federal Building Even as Wife, Lawyer Watch
Marc Curnutte,Cincinnati.com, May 28, 2017
“As a noncriminal who’s only offense was living illegally in the country, Motino’s arrest is in line with policy established by the administration of President Donald Trump since he took office in January.”

‘You’re Just There, Trapped’: Why One Mexican Woman Decided to ‘Self-Deport,’ Long before Trump
Alene Tchekmedyian,Los Angeles Times, June 1, 2017
“These policies are designed to increase anxiety, they’re designed to create fear in immigrant communities….The government knows they’ll never be able to go out and deport the unauthorized population — and one of their stated hopes is that people will self-deport.”

Trump Deportations Hit Immigrants With Strong U.S. Roots
Rebecca Bintrim,Americas Quarterly, June 1, 2017
“There’s also been a change in deportation priorities. Ortiz was among the first deportees of the Trump administration, but he is also an example of the new population being targeted. A growing number of immigrants like him are being sent back to their home country after spending years, in some cases a lifetime, in the U.S.”

Democrats Have Buyer’s Remorse About Trump’s Homeland Security Chief
Elise Foley,Huffington Post, May 31, 2017
“John Kelly just keeps carrying out some of the president’s most controversial policies.”

Story of a Rogue Agent Clouds Efforts to Ease Border Patrol Expansion
Ron Nixon,The New York Times, May 20, 2017
“But some current and former Department of Homeland Security officials said the proposed changes could expose the agency to corrupt individuals who could use their position to help drug cartels or human smugglers.”

DPS Troopers Push Undocumented Immigrants Into a Deportation Pipeline
Debbie Nathan,The Austin Chronicle, June 2, 2017
“Spike in traffic stops raises concerns about racial profiling, faulty recordkeeping, and the damage done to families.”

U.S. Quietly Lifts Limit on Number of Refugees Allowed In
Gardiner Harris,The New York Times, May 26, 2017
“Despite repeated efforts by President Trump to curtail refugee resettlements, the State Department this week quietly lifted the department’s restriction on the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States.”

Woman Seeking Asylum in Canada Dies of Hypothermia Near US Border
Julien Gignac,The Guardian, May 31, 2017
“Seeking to avoid Trump’s immigration crackdown, a growing number of people have braved freezing temperatures and deep snow to reach Canada.”

Places of Worship Take Stand against Trump’s Immigration Crackdown
Scott Pelley,60 Minutes, May 19, 2017
Philadelphia minister offering sanctuary to an immigrant says when laws break the backs of God’s people, time to mull “breaking those laws”

U.S.-Mexico Border

Abuses, Mistreatment Reported at U.S.-Mexico Border Crossings in San Diego
Kristina Davis,San Diego Union-Tribune, June 1, 2017
“A campaign to document mistreatment and abuse by Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry in San Diego turned up 51 complaints, including allegations of verbal, physical and sexual harassment, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Friends Service Committee.”

Illegal Border Crossings Are Down, And So Is Business For Smugglers
John Burnett,NPR, May 31, 2017
“The number of people apprehended while trying to cross the Southwest border illegally has plummeted, as the age-old practice of hopping the border without papers has changed profoundly in recent months.”

200 Refugees Are Crossing Mexico to Escape Violence—and to Confront Trump
Bryan Schatz,Mother Jones, May 1, 2017
“At this moment, a group of 200 refugees fleeing violence and gangs in Central America are heading north through Mexico in hopes of seeking asylum when they reach the US border later this week.”

Nearly 80 Protesting Asylum Seekers Held After Entering US at San Ysidro
Jean Guerrero,KPBS, May 10, 2017
“A group of 78 asylum seekers awaits interviews at the San Ysidro Port of Entry after weeks of trekking in a caravan through Mexico to raise awareness about the plight of people fleeing violence.”

Madres mexicanas deportadas luchan por reencontrase con sus hijos en EU
Xinhua,SinEmbargo, 7 de mayo de 2017
“Miles de madres mexicanas, que han sido deportadas a su país de origen por autoridades estadunidenses, llegan a diario a Tijuana, ciudad fronteriza con Estados Unidos, con la esperanza de encontrar ayuda que les permita reencontrarse una vez más con sus hijos, a quienes han tenido que dejar en el país vecino por diversos motivos.”

This Graphic Shows Why President Trump’s Border Wall Won’t Stop Immigrants from Crossing
Emily Barone and Lon Tweeten,Time, May 16, 2017
“But experts say that a wall, like the fences that are in place now, won’t deter immigrants who are already risking their lives to cross the border.”

Tiny Border Town that Depends on Neighbors in Mexico Opposes Wall
Angela Kocherga,Dallas News, May 31, 2017
“Most residents of the towns share a view that a border wall proposed by President Trump — a campaign promise aimed at illegal immigration — is unnecessary and would hinder their way of life.”

Border Agency Says It Has Picked Finalists to Design Trump’s Wall
AP, Bloomberg, May 12, 2017
“An agency document released last month by Senate Democrats says authorities plan to select winners by June 14 to build prototypes in San Diego on a short stretch of land near the Otay Mesa border crossing with Mexico.”

Mexican Immigration Enforcement

Van 21 migrantes muertos en la frontera mexicana con Centroamérica
MiMorelia, 7 de mayo de 2017
“Este año la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM) lleva documentados 21 decesos en la frontera de Centroamérica con México, donde una parte importante es por accidentes en “La Bestia” e incluso asesinatos a cargo de presuntos delincuentes.”

Las Patronas: The Women Who Feed Travelling Migrants
Alasdair Baverstock,TRT World, May 10, 2017
“A group of women in Mexico have been donating food to Central Americans bound for the United States, saying they have no intentions to stop their work despite the changing political climate.”

Cubanos en México: los que no llegan a EU
Iñigo Arrendondo,El Universal, 15 de mayo de 2017
“De 2010 a 2016, el número de cubanos residentes en México creció 560%.”

Country Conditions, Root Causes

Central America’s Refugee Crisis Fuels Anti-Hispanic Backlash in Neighborly Belize
Nina Lakhani,The Guardian, May 31, 2017
“The country was once a haven for victims of outside violence, but the government has recently taken a hardline approach that leaves many in constant fear of deportation.”

Guatemala Rescues 22 Children from Forced Labor: Police
Anastasia Moloney,Reuters, June 1, 2017
“Guatemalan police have rescued 22 children – some working 16-hour days making corn tortillas – as part of a crackdown on widespread child labor in the Central American nation, according to public prosecutors.”

Northern Triangle Migrants: From the Frying Pan into the Fire
David Gagne,InSight Crime, May 16, 2017
“A new report by an international humanitarian organization provides fresh statistics on the dangers that migrants from Central America’s Northern Triangle face both in their home country and during their perilous trek to the United States.”

Mexicans Stage ‘A Day Without Journalism’ to Protest Deadly Attacks on the News Media
Kate Linthicum,Los Angeles Times, May 16, 2017
“Several prominent Mexican news outlets went dark Tuesday to protest the murder of journalists across the country, including Monday’s brazen midday killing of veteran crime reporter Javier Valdez.”

Asesinan a madre de joven desaparecida y activista de San Fernando, Tamaulipas
Carlos Manuel Juárez,Animal Político, 11 de mayo de 2017
“Miriam Elizabeth Rodríguez Martínez, fue asesinada por un grupo de hombres armados este miércoles. Apoyaba la búsqueda de desaparecidos luego de que su hija fuera secuestrada en 2012. Ella dio con el paradero de su familiar en una fosa clandestina.”

Gunmen Kill Mexican Activist for Parents of Missing Children
Paulina Villegas,The New York Times, May 12, 2017
“A Mexican woman who became an activist for parents of missing children after her daughter was kidnapped and murdered five years ago was fatally shot by gunmen who broke into her home this week, the authorities said Thursday.”

More Money, More Problems? Mexico Security Spending Jumps Amid Rising Violence
David Gagne,InSight Crime, May 10, 2017
“Mexico’s federal government reportedly spent 23 times more on public and national security than last year’s budget allowed, but there is no public information on where any of that money is going — or what kind of impact it’s having on rising levels of crime and violence.”

Series of Escapes Underscores Weakness of Honduras Prison System
Leonardo Goi,InSight Crime, May 15, 2017
“Sixty-five people escaped from prison in less than 15 days in Honduras, highlighting the chronic dysfunction of the country’s prison system.”

Actions, Additional Resources

Inmigrante Informado
“A raíz de las elecciones presidenciales, millones de inmigrantes legales e indocumentados enfrentan mayor incertidumbre alrededor de su estatus legal en los estados unidos. Líderes y organizaciones de los derechos del inmigrante a lo largo del país se han unido y han combinado recursos para ayudar a los inmigrantes y a sus aliados a obtener la información y orientación más actualizada.”

No Hate in Our State! Stop AB190!
Voces de la Frontera, May 19, 2017
“In Wisconsin, Republican state lawmakers have introduced AB190, copycat bill of Texas’ SB4. This bill aims to have public employees and local law enforcement act like immigration agents.”

Report: Forced to Flee Central America’s Northern Triangle: A Neglected Humanitarian Crisis
Doctors without Borders, May 11, 2017
“Through violence assessment surveys and medical and psychosocial consultations, MSF teams have witnessed and documented a pattern of violent displacement, persecution, sexual violence, and forced repatriation akin to the conditions found in the deadliest armed conflicts in the world today.”

Returning Home: The Challenges and Opportunities Faced by Returned Migrants in the Northern Triangle of Central America
The Wilson Center, May 11, 2017
“In 2016, over 216,000 migrants returned to the Northern Triangle of Central America (NTCA) from Mexico and the United States. Sixteen percent of these returning migrants were children. The large influx of returnees presents both a challenge and an opportunity for NTCA governments to develop systems to facilitate the migrants’ return and reintegrate them into society.” (See additional event documents.)

Organizational Letter to Secretary Kelly Calling for TPS Renewal for Haiti
May 17, 2017
“As humanitarian, international development, and human rights organizations, many of which
currently provide direct services on the ground in Haiti, we respectfully disagree with the
assessment of James W. McCament, Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS), that conditions in Haiti no longer support its designation for TPS.”

On the Borderline: Abuses at the United States Mexico Border
American Friends Service Committee, 2017
“The recommendations seek to improve law enforcement accountability measures for border and immigration agencies that interact with the public at ports of entry, to ensure fulfillment of the Constitution of the United States, and that comply with national and international legal norms guided by ethical principles.”

Separated Families: Barriers to Family Reunification After Deportation
Deborah A. Boehm,Journal on Migration and Human Security, 2017
“Drawing on case studies from longitudinal ethnographic research in Mexico and the United States, I describe: 1) the difficulties in successfully canceling deportation orders, 2) the particular limitations to family reunification for US citizen children when a parent is deported, and 3) the legal barriers to authorized return to the United States after deportation.”

Survey Reveals Impact of Increased Immigration Enforcement on Victims Experiencing Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
National Network to End Domestic Violence, May 18, 2017
“The survey documents that 78 percent of advocates reported that immigrant survivors expressed concerns about contacting police. Similarly, three in four service providers responding to the survey reported that immigrant survivors have concerns about going to court for a matter related to the abuser/offender. Finally, 43 percent of advocates worked with immigrant survivors who dropped civil or criminal cases because they were fearful to continue with their cases.”

New Brain Gain: Rising Human Capital among Recent Immigrants to the United States
Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix, Migration Policy Institute, May 2017
“Striking new findings reveal the little-noticed shift in composition of immigration flows over the past decade, with immigrants’ human capital rising sharply. Most notably, 48 percent of recently arrived immigrants to the United States (those coming between 2011 and 2015) were college graduates—compared to just 27 percent of arrivals a quarter-century earlier.”

*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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