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Central America/Mexico Migration News Brief for May 10, 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.

Plan for Central America

U.S. Coaxes Mexico into Trump Plan to Overhaul Central America
Gabriel Stargardter, Reuters, May 4, 2017
“The United States is plotting an ambitious attempt to shore up Central America, with the administration of President Donald Trump pressing Mexico to do more to stem the flow of migrants fleeing violence and poverty in the region, U.S. and Mexican officials say.”

EEUU involucra a México en plan de Trump para apuntalar a Centroamérica
Gabriel Stargardter, Reuters, 4 de mayo de 2017
“Estados Unidos delinea un ambicioso plan para apuntalar a Centroamérica presionando a México para que haga más para frenar el flujo de migrantes que huyen de la violencia y la pobreza en la región, dijeron funcionarios estadounidenses y mexicanos.”

Northcom Commander Highlights Partnerships to Counter Transnational Crime
Lisa Ferdinando, DoD News, Defense Media Activity, US Department of Defense, April 25, 2017
“The U.S. military is looking for ways to enhance cooperation with its Mexican and Central American partners to address the security challenges that threaten the stability in the region, the commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command said here today.”

Southcom Official: ‘Friendly Network’ Critical in Confronting Transregional Threats
Lisa Ferdinando, U.S. Southern Command, April 27, 2017
“Fick described CENTSEC 2017, which was hosted by the United States and Mexico, as an ‘executive-level discussion’ to foster dialogue, strengthen cooperation among the allies and promote an interagency approach within and among the partner nations…In addition to the U.S. and Mexico, representatives from the seven Central American nations attended the conference, plus observers from Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and the United Kingdom.”

U.S. Budget

A Look at the Winners and Losers in the $1.1T Spending Bill
Matthew Daly,  AP, The Washington Post, May 1, 2017
“Retired miners, college students and Planned Parenthood are winners in the $1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled on Monday. Losers are the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, efforts to store nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain and President Donald Trump, who had many of his recommendations rejected by Republican and Democrats.”

Trump’s Immigration Proposals ‘Conspicuously Absent’ from Spending Bill
Ron Nixon, The New York Times, May 3, 2017
“President Trump’s plans to hire thousands of new deportation officers, cut off money to cities that refuse to turn over undocumented immigrants and target states that legally sell marijuana were notably omitted from the spending compromise bill unveiled by Congress to avert a government shutdown.”

Budget Deal Reached, with Miner and Immigration Money
Ian Kullgren, Politico, May 1, 2017
“Congress reached a deal Sunday night that included a permanent fix to shore up health benefits for coal miners who worked for bankrupt companies, according to a Senate aide, and $1.5 billion for increased border protection — but no money for President Donald Trump’s border wall.”

DHS Secretary Kelly Says He’s ‘Shocked’ Politicians Celebrated Lack of Wall Funding
Aidan Quigley, Politico, May 2, 2017
“President Donald Trump’s long-promised wall on the Mexican border, a key promise in his campaign, received no funding under a new deal to fund the government for the last five months of the fiscal year.”

Budget Deal Fails to Rein in Customs and Border Protection
Southern Border Communities Coalition
“The budget deal fails to invest in sorely needed oversight and accountability measures for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the agency that oversees the Border Patrol, continues the mass incarceration of immigrants, and funds the construction of new barriers that threaten sensitive wildlife habitats.”

Even Without the Wall, Trump’s 2017 Funding Request is Deeply Flawed on Immigration and Border Security
Adam Isacson and Maureen Meyer, WOLA, April 27, 2017
“As Congress comes close to approving a bill to fund the government for the rest of Fiscal Year 2017, the White House is standing down from its request for $1.2 billion to build 48 miles of border wall. In addition to funding for the border wall, however, the Trump administration also requested that Congress appropriate another $1.8 billion in Fiscal Year 2017 for increased border security and intensified migrant apprehensions and deportations.”

Mexico Talks Tough to Trump as Border Wall Funding Appears to Stall
David Agren, The Guardian, April 25, 2017
“Foreign minister called plans ‘hostile’ and an ‘absolute waste of money’, as Trump appeared to back down on demand for funding from Congress”

U.S.-Mexico Border Enforcement

‘It’s Life and Death’: Border Crossings Continue Despite the Trump Effect
Rory Carroll, The Guardian, May 1, 2017
“There are, however, two problems with this policy of fear: it is worsening a humanitarian crisis by exposing people to abduction, extortion and murder and it may stop working.”

Mexican Drug Smugglers to Trump: Thanks!
Ioan Grillo, The New York Times, May 5, 2017
“When asked whether the border wall promised by President Trump will stop smugglers, he smiles. ‘This is never going to stop, neither the narco trafficking nor the illegals,’ he says. ‘There will be more tunnels. More holes. If it doesn’t go over, it will go under.’ What will change? The fees that criminal networks charge to transport people and contraband across the border. Every time the wall goes up, so do smuggling profits.”

They Treated Us Like Criminals’: U.S. Border Crossers Report Severe Reception
Vivian Yee, The New York Times, May 1, 2017
“But for those not subject to ban or deportation, it is in the sterile screening rooms of the country’s airports and border crossings — where Americans and foreigners alike can be held, searched and interrogated for hours — that everyday people are most likely to meet the machinery of Mr. Trump’s government.”

US Turning Away Asylum Seekers at Mexican Border
Michael Garcia Bochenek, Human Rights Watch, May 3, 2017
“By law, if someone arrives at the border asking for asylum or expressing fear of returning to their own country, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents are required to refer the person to a specialist asylum officer, who then assesses eligibility for protection.”

‘No Asylum Here’: Some Say U.S. Border Agents Rejected Them
Caitlin Dickerson and Miriam Jordan, The New York Times, May 3, 2017
“Customs agents have increasingly turned away asylum seekers without so much as an interview, according to migrants and their lawyers, in a trend first noted several months ago and that appeared to accelerate after President Trump’s inauguration.”

“Trump Says We Don’t Have to Let You In”-Report Says U.S. Border Officials are Turning Away Asylum Seekers
Cora Currier, The Intercept, May 3, 2017
“Alma’s is one of the cases included in a report released today by Human Rights First, which alleges that officials at the U.S.-Mexico border have been routinely and illegally turning away asylum seekers. The report provides dozens of examples of officials providing false information about the law, asking misleading questions or pressuring people to take back statements about fearing persecution, and frustrating lawyers who try to facilitate claims.”

“Ya no aceptamos asilo”: denuncian que agentes fronterizos negaron ilegalmente la entrada a migrantes en busca de protección
Damià S. Bonmatí, Amexica, 03 de mayo de 2017
“El grupo Human Rights First reúne 125 casos de solicitantes de asilos a quienes les denegaron el acceso a Estados Unidos, tanto antes como después del cambio de gobierno.”

A Path to America, Marked by More and More Bodies
Manny Fernandez, The New York Times, May 4, 2017
“More than 200 other migrants just like him died, their names unknown. Their bodies are part of a border-crossers’ morgue at a university lab.”

Poignant Paper Trail From the South Texas Border [English]
Un reportero encuentra una carta en la frontera sur de Texas [Español]
Manny Fernandez, The New York Times, May 4, 2017
“The migrants were three teenage girls from El Salvador. They had traveled at least 1,500 miles to come to America. They had gotten lost in the Texas brush after crossing the border and had been walking for four days. One of them was pregnant. They were no longer evading the Border Patrol; they were now seeking them out, because the girl who was pregnant needed help.”

The Border Patrol’s Corruption Problem
Jeremy Raff, The Atlantic, May 5, 2017
“More than 140 Customs and Border Protection agents were arrested or convicted of corruption in recent years—and President Trump’s promise to hire 5,500 new agents could make the problem worse.”

Border Communities Fear Border Patrol ‘Can Get Away with Murder,’ Activist Says
Nicholas Ballasy, PJ Media, April 28, 2017
“Border communities in the United States “do not trust Customs and Border Protections (CBP) agents,” according to Christian Ramirez, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC).”

¿Dónde termina el muro? Estos hermanos hicieron un ‘road trip’ por la frontera para resolver una duda de infancia
Angélica Gallón S., Univision, 8 de mayo de 2017
“Yonathan y Jordan Moya, dos hijos de inmigrantes mexicanos que crecieron en el sur de Texas, decidieron embarcarse en una aventura: recorrer con su cámara fotográfica la frontera entre EEUU y México desde Brownsville (Texas) hasta San Diego (California). Su propósito, uno solo, mostrarle al mundo que esa tierra es mucho más que lo que dicen los políticos.”

Why a ‘Great Wall’ Won’t Stop the Cross-Border Gun Trade
Robert Muggah and Topher Mcdougal, Americas Quarterly
“That Mexico’s drug cartels get their firepower from the United States is no longer much of a mystery. Even President Donald Trump has acknowledged that the U.S. should do more to curb the flow of arms across its southern border.”

Mexico Assembles Team for All-Out Legal Assault on Border Wall
Mark Browne, CNS News, April 27, 2017
“Mexico’s foreign secretary is planning an all-out legal assault on any future construction of a border wall by the U.S., to include filing suits in U.S. and international courts over possible environmental, human rights and international treaty violations.”

Sanctuary City Policies

Texas One-Ups Trump, Vows Jail for Sanctuary City Officials
Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Kartikay Mehrotra, Bloomberg, May 8, 2017
“Texas kicked off a court battle in giving itself power to jail local officials who provide safe harbor for undocumented immigrants, which goes further than President Donald Trump in his attempt to punish sanctuary cities.”

Texas’ New Immigration Crackdown Appears To Be Headed Straight To Court
Roque Planas, Huffington Post, May 8, 2017
“Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Sunday one of the harshest immigration laws to pass a state legislature since Arizona’s 2010 crackdown. But opponents say the bill is headed straight to court.”

Five Things You Need to Know about Texas’ Sanctuary City Law
Rafael Bernal, The Hill, May 8, 2017
“The law, known as S.B. 4, started as a ban on ‘sanctuary cities’ in Texas but grew in scope through amendments. Here are five things you need to know about S.B. 4.”

ACLU alerta que la SB4 de Texas va a afectar “a cualquier persona que se vea diferente”
Jorge Cancino, Univision, 9 de mayo de 2017
“La asociación de derechos civiles teme que la ley antiinmigrante promulgada el domingo permita que la policía detenga a personas por su apariencia, incluso a residentes o ciudadanos estadounidenses.”

What is a ‘Sanctuary City’ Exactly? An Immigrant Rights Group Explains
Gabe Ortiz, Daily Kos, April 28, 2017
“The truth is that sanctuary city policies are locally decided actions that make cities safer, because local law enforcement agencies are able to build trust with undocumented immigrant residents. The result is a safer community.”

Other U.S. Immigration Updates

‘Refugee Processing has Ground to a Halt’: A Group of Senators Wants to Know Why
Karoun Demirjian and Abigail Hauslohner, The Washington Post, May 4, 2017
“A bipartisan group of senators is demanding a full accounting of refugee processing numbers from the Trump administration, as a global moratorium on Homeland Security officials interviewing resettlement applicants drags into its fourth month.”

US Digs for Evidence of Haiti Immigrant Crimes
Alicia Caldwell, AP, May 9, 2017
“Internal emails obtained by The Associated Press show a top immigration official wanted not only crime data on Haitians who are protected from deportation under the Temporary Protected Status program, but also how many were receiving public benefits. Such immigrants aren’t eligible for welfare benefits.”

DREAMers and Asylum Seekers: The Other Faces of Deportation
Eileen Truax, Americas Quarterly
“Like many of the nation’s approximately 11.1 million undocumented immigrants, Amaro and Yaujar are used to living with the fear of deportation. What makes their cases unusual is that they have requested asylum in the United States – on the grounds that their lives would be at risk if they returned to their native Mexico. Their case, which has been pending since 2013, is a reminder of how Mexicans and other immigrants in the United States face a variety of experiences and challenges. Each person has their own story.”

Meet The Anti-Immigrant Crusader Trump Admin Tapped To Assist Immigrants
Allegra Kirkland, Talking Points Memo, May 1, 2017
“But that is the choice Trump’s Department of Homeland Security made when it tapped Julie Kirchner, formerly of the Foundation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), to serve as the agency’s ombudsman.”

Arrests of Undocumented Immigrants Went Up During President’s Trump First 100 Days
Maya Rhodan, Time, April 28, 2017
“Arrests of undocumented immigrants, both with and without criminal convictions, are up in the first 100 days of the Trump Administration when compared to last year.”

100 días de Trump: nerviosismo en la frontera ante designación como “zona de guerra”
Pilar Marrero, La Opinión, 26 de abril de 2017
“Hace dos semanas, el fiscal general del país Jeff Sessions fue por primera vez a la frontera desde su investidura en enero y hablando a los medios en El Paso, Texas, equiparó a la ciudad con una “zona de guerra.”

Trump’s Immigration Crackdown is Well Underway
Ted Hesson and Seung Min Kim, Politico, April 28, 2017
“President Donald Trump has systematically engineered a major crackdown on immigration during his first 100 days in office — even as courts reject his executive orders and Congress nears a spending deal that will deny him funding for a wall along the southern border.”

Police in Georgia Are Turning Traffic Stops into the First Step toward Deportation
Amanda Sakuma, The Intercept, May 8, 2017
“Routine traffic stops are beginning to prove how exceptionally broad Trump’s definition of an ‘illegal criminal’ is, and how that definition is being applied to the undocumented immigrants local police encounter in their day-to-day work. And for regions with a history of racial tensions and hostility toward immigrants, local leaders now effectively have carte blanche to turn any interaction with police into the first step toward deportation.”

Mother and Son’s Deportation Pits Senator against Homeland Security
Paul P. Murphy, Faith Karimi and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN, May 4, 2017
“US Sen. Bob Casey is lashing out at the Trump administration for deporting a Honduran mother and son who he says are at risk of getting killed by gang members.”

ICE Agents Raid Youth Shelter to Arrest Teen Asylum Seeker on his 18th Birthday
Gabe Ortiz, Daily Kos, May 2, 2017
“Despite the fact that the youth is in good standing, has no criminal record, and would most likely have been released to family here in the U.S. under the Obama administration, ICE had previously informed advocates that he ‘would nonetheless be detained when he turned 18 and transferred to an adult detention facility.’ On his birthday, they did just that. Just like Superman would do, right?”

ICE Detiene a un Solicitante de Asilo el Día Que Cumplía 18 Años
Damià S. Bonmatí, Univision Noticias, 30 de abril de 2017
“La agencia dice que los albergues para menores inmigrantes no pueden acogerlos cuando llegan a los 18 años de edad. Los abogados del joven aseguran que, antes de la llegada de Donald Trump al poder, buscaban alternativas a la detención para los solicitantes de asilo.”

Arrest of Arturo Hernandez Garcia Sends a Chilling Message
The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, May 1, 2017
“The timing, even if coincidental, of the arrest of a well-known figure who also sought sanctuary and whose only crime is being in the country without permission, sends a convenient message of indifferent intolerance to everyone here without proper documentation. The arrest, given its impact on the lives of millions of families here, represents a kind of gratuitous and hateful overreach that defies understanding.”

Disturbing Videos Show ICE Violently Arresting Immigrants in a Denver Courthouse
Rafi Schwartz, Fusion, May 9, 2017
“A series of newly released videos shows officials from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency arresting—and in one case violently subduing—several undocumented immigrants in and around a Denver courthouse.”

Este es el Principal “Delito” de Inmigrantes Detenidos Por ICE
Redacción, La Opinión, 30 de abril de 2017
“Sin embargo, 163 de todos los detenidos fue porque cometieron alguna ofensa de tráfico, de los cuales el 90 por ciento había conducido ebrio.”

Babies and Children Listed in Homeland Security’s Immigrant Database of Alleged Criminals
Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2017
“The Trump administration’s online database of immigrants in detention was supposed to help the public search for potential criminals. But when it launched Wednesday, an immigration attorney noticed something unusual: babies.”

Crece el Número de DACAmentados que Pierden Beneficio
Redacción, La Opinión, 03 de mayo de 2017
“En lo que va del gobierno Trump se ha aumentado en 25% el número de Dreamers que han perdido su alivio y protección migratoria.”

How ICE Expanded Its Deportation Force without Asking Congress for a Dime
Henry Grabar, Slate, April 28, 2017
“But the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Friday that the Department of Homeland Security has found a way around that issue, by mandating that Homeland Security Investigations, a 6,200-person unit within ICE that has typically focused on cross-border criminal activity like drug smuggling, sex tourism, and human trafficking, also arrest individuals suspected of violating immigration law.”

On Long Island, Sessions Vows to Eradicate MS-13 Gang
Liz Robbins, The New York Times, April 28, 2017
“The attorney general of the United States, Jeff Sessions, came on Friday to this Long Island area besieged by the transnational gang known as MS-13, and in a 20-minute speech to local police commissioners and sheriffs vowed to eradicate the gang by cracking down on illegal immigration.”

Así Viven los Trabajadores Mexicanos a Los Que Trump Acusa de Robar Empleos
Gabriela Arp, Damià S. Bonmatí, Amexica, Univision, 28 de abril de 2017
“El presidente Trump no solo ataca a los mexicanos que trabajan en Estados Unidos, también a los que fabrican al sur de la frontera. Producen para empresas estadounidenses que movieron su producción en búsqueda de salarios e impuestos bajos.”

El Odio, Miedo y Racismo Acosan a Inmigrantes de la Era Trump
Leila Macor, El Nuevo Herald, 28 de abril de 2017
“Desde que este hombre ganó, me mantengo en bajo perfil porque ahora tengo miedo de que me lastimen”, cuenta la mujer de 39 años, madre de una niña estadounidense de 11 y de una joven sin papeles de 22.”

Too Scared to Report Sexual Abuse. The Fear: Deportation.
Jennifer Medina, The New York Times, April 30, 2017
“Domestic violence has always been a notoriously difficult crime to prosecute. It often takes victims years to seek help, and they frequently have to be persuaded to testify against their assailants. And for many undocumented victims, taking that step has become exceedingly difficult because of fears that the government will detain and deport them if they press charges, according to law enforcement officials, lawyers and advocates from across the country.”

Amid Immigration Setbacks, One Trump Strategy Seems to be Working: Fear
David Nakamura, The Washington Post, April 30, 2017
“Many experts on both sides of the immigration debate attribute at least part of this shift to the use of sharp, unwelcoming rhetoric by Trump and his aides, as well as the administration’s showy use of enforcement raids and public spotlighting of crimes committed by immigrants. The tactics were aimed at sending a political message to those in the country illegally or those thinking about trying to come.”

This Private Prison Company Is Getting Rich Off Donald Trump’s Immigration Crackdown
Betsy Woodruff, The Daily Beast, May 3, 2017
“A private prison company currently being sued for human trafficking expects to handle one quarter of President Donald Trump’s immigrant detention.”

Report Alleges Immigrant Detainees in Georgia Given Food with Worms, Painkillers for Broken Bones
Esther Yu Hsi Lee, ThinkProgress, May 4, 2017
“Immigrant detainees routinely received substandard health care and were given unsanitary food and water that made them sick, according to a report released Thursday by the advocacy group Project South and the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic.”

Trump Could Roll Back Decades Of Progress that Made Immigrant Detention More Humane
Elise Foley, Huffington Post, April 25, 2017
“Human rights advocates spent years fighting for even small improvements to the system that detains men, women and children waiting to be either deported or released back into the U.S. Now they fear the progress they have made could disappear under President Donald Trump, who has promised harsher treatment of undocumented immigrants.”

Administration: No Immediate Plans to Halt Immigration Order
Associated Press, The Washington Post, April 28, 2017
“The Trump administration has told two California counties it has no plans right now to seek a court ruling immediately reinstating the president’s executive order to withhold funding from communities that limit cooperation with immigration authorities.”

Defiant Trump Vows to Take Immigration Case to Supreme Court
Peter Baker, The New York Times, April 26, 2017
“President Trump vowed on Wednesday to challenge California jurisdictions all the way to the Supreme Court after a federal judge there stopped him from withholding funds to penalize them for shielding illegal immigrants.”

Office to Aid Crime Victims Is Latest Step in Crackdown on Immigrants
Ron Nixon and Liz Robbins, The New York Times, April 26, 2017
“Critics of Mr. Trump’s approach say it unfairly takes aim at a population that is less likely to commit crimes than American citizens.”

Inside The Immigrant-Prosecuting Machine That Transformed America’s Deportation Policy
Roque Planas, Huffington Post, April 26, 2017
“Democratic and Republican presidents spent two decades building Donald Trump’s most powerful tool against undocumented immigrants.”

Spooked by Trump, Migrants Turn to Mexico
Lizbeth Diaz, Reuters, May 5, 2017
“Her ultimate goal is to reunite with her father and two sons up north, but for the time being, she believes applying for asylum in Mexico is smarter than trying to break into Trump’s United States.”

Mexican Enforcement

Tribunal mexicano dice que quienes piden asilo no pueden permanecer detenidos
Efe, Terra, 4 de mayo de 2017
“Un tribunal mexicano dictaminó que aquellas personas que piden asilo en México tienen derecho a esperar el resultado de sus solicitudes en libertad, por lo que no pueden permanecer detenidos en estaciones migratorias.”

En principio, solicitantes de asilo no podrán ser privados de libertad, fallo histórico del Poder Judicial en México
Presunción de Inocencia y Clínica Jurídica para Refugiados, 5 de mayo de 2017
“Celebramos el fallo del Vigésimo Tribunal Colegiado en Materia Administrativa que asume las obligaciones internacionales de protección y garantía efectiva de los derechos de las personas refugiadas ―en particular del derecho a la libertad personal― y representa un aporte sustantivo para el desarrollo jurisprudencial mexicano sobre la tutela judicial efectiva a través del juicio de amparo.”

Refugiados centroamericanos piden asilo en EEUU tras un ‘viacrucis’ por México
Jorge Morales Almada, Univision, 7 de mayo de 2017
“Durante el trayecto, denunció, muchos de los participantes en el ‘Viacrucis de Refugiados’ fueron víctimas de abusos por parte de diferentes cuerpos policiales, desde el Grupo Beta del Instituto Nacional de Inmigración (INM) hasta de la Marina y del Ejército.”

The Borderland Project: Undocumented Central American Recounts Violence on Journey Through Mexico
Maria Guerrero, NBCDFW 5, May 2, 2017
“It is a journey that takes many into Mexico. And it is in this country many migrants say they endure violence at the hands of criminals, corrupt police and human smugglers.”

No One Talks About Life After Deportation; These Mexican Activists Are Changing That
Laura Weiss, The Nation, April 28, 2017
“A network of migrant activists is helping deportees and returnees readjust to life in the country.”

México: Empresas preparan programas para generar empleo y oportunidades para migrantes retornados
Informador.mx, Business and Human Rights Resource Center, 2 de mayo de 2017
“Empresas como Nestlé, Cabify y Grupo Modelo alistan programas para incorporar a la economía a los migrantes mexicanos que están regresando de Estados Unidos, mientras que Heineken, Cinemex y Alsea también abrirían sus puertas.”

Root Causes & Country Conditions

Sexual, Gender Violence Driving Central American Youths to Flee Their Countries
Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News, May 5, 2017
“Sexual and gender-based violence by gangs, particularly against girls, has been a major driver of Central American youths from the region, a group that protects immigrant children reported Thursday.”

99 pandilleros son deportados cada mes al país de EUA
Ezequiel Barrera y Karen López, La Prensa Gráfica, 5 de mayo de 2017
“Ante la probabilidad de deportaciones masivas que sobrepasen los 99 pandilleros mensuales, anunciadas recientemente por el presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, la Fuerza Armada de El Salvador (FAES) se está preparando para apoyar a la Policía Nacional Civil (PNC) en todos los planes que el gabinete de Seguridad implemente para hacer frente a la problemática, según dijo ayer el ministro de la Defensa, David Munguía Payés.”

El Salvador Struggles with Options on Returning Gang Members
Associated Press, The Washington Post, May 5, 2017
“Deportations to El Salvador are down so far this year, but U.S. authorities have vowed to crack down on immigrants who belong to gangs. There has been some anecdotal evidence that returning gang members are forming new groups in El Salvador. Defense Minister Gen. David Munguia told local media Friday that the meeting discussed various possibilities, including tracking gang members deported back to El Salvador and even locking them up.”

El Salvador Eyes Tracking U.S. Deportees to Curb Gangs
Reuters, The New York Times, May 3, 2017
“El Salvador proposed new measures on Wednesday to track criminal deportees from the United States as part of a bid to keep violent street gangs known as ‘Maras’ from expanding as U.S. President Donald Trump vows to kick them out.”

Dissident Faction Splits with El Salvador’s Notorious MS-13 Gang
Telesur, May 2, 2017
“The origin of the split appears to stem from truce negotiations initiated by El Salvador’s former President Mauricio Funes in 2012.”

“We Will Kill All Trans People Here”
Rossalyn Warren, Vice News, April 27, 2017
“When three transgender women were murdered within 72 hours in El Salvador back in February, local activists were shaken but, sadly, not surprised. The string of murders was just the latest threat of violence against the country’s increasingly vulnerable LGBTI community.”

Honduras Murder Rate Falls Slightly in 2016: Report
Gustavo Palencia and Jonathan Oatis, Reuters, April 26, 2017
“The murder rate in Honduras, one of the most violent countries in the Americas, dropped slightly last year compared to 2015, a respected local think tank said on Wednesday.”

‘Men can do anything they want to women in Honduras’: Inside One of the Most Dangerous Places on Earth to be a Woman
Juju Chang, Jackie Jesko, Ignacio Torres, Jenna Millman, ABC News, May 3, 2017
“ Much of this gender-based violence, according to Honduran activists like Neesa Medina, is due to a sexist “machismo” culture of gangs, guns, and girls, where a man’s power is often measured in bullets. Combine this with a government unable to cope with a relentless tide of drug-related crime, Medina says, you get a culture where women are disposable.”

Honduran Worker Rights Activists Face Rising Violence
Tula Connell, Solidarity Center, April 19, 2017
“A brutal attack against a union leader and his brother in Honduras is the latest in escalating violence directed at worker rights activists there, according to the Honduran National Network for Violence Against Trade Unionists and other Solidarity Center partners in the country.”

Indigenous and Female: Life at the Bottom in Guatemala
Ellen Wulfhorst, Reuters, May 3, 2017
“An indigenous woman in Guatemala is more likely than all her fellow citizens to be sick, illiterate, poor and overwhelmed by too many unplanned children.”

The Human Rights Situation in Mexico: 2017 First Quarter Update
Daniella Burgi-Palomino, Latin America Working Group, May 09, 2017
“Mexico is starting off 2017 with very limited progress in addressing the situation of human rights violations and elevated levels of violence across the country, especially for human rights defenders and journalists. March 2017 marked the highest level of homicides for any month since June 2011.”

Mexico’s President Vows to Step Up Protections for Journalists
Azam Ahmed, The New York Times, May 5, 2017
“Faced with a wave of deadly attacks against journalists, the president of Mexico has vowed to take concrete steps to ensure the safety of journalists in his country, including removing the lead prosecutor responsible for investigating crimes against the freedom of expression.”

Is This the Most Dangerous Place to Be a Female Journalist Right Now?
Andalusia Knoll Soloff, Broadly, May 2, 2017
“One reporter was strangled to death in her apartment; another was shot dead in her car. In Mexico, women in journalism face the constant threat of violence.”

No Excuse: Mexico Must Break Cycle of Impunity in Journalists’ Murders
Committee to Protect Journalists, May 3, 2017
“Mexico’s press is caught in a deadly cycle of violence and impunity, with journalists in Veracruz state at particular risk of kidnap and murder. Despite authorities appointing a special prosecutor to investigate crimes against freedom of expression and establishing a protection mechanism for journalists, a lack of political will to end impunity exposes Mexico as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.”

Diez países firman Declaración Ministerial sobre Salud y Migración
Bartolome Carpio, Hoy en TV, 26 de abril de 2017
“En la firma de la Declaración de Mesoamérica sobre salud y migración, realizada en la sala Bernardo Sepúlveda de la Secretaría de Salud, Etienne destacó que esta región es la que tiene la mayoría de migrantes en el mundo y los gobiernos y la OPS han abordado esta situación y tomado resoluciones.”

Actions & Resources

Neither Security nor Justice: Sexual and Gender-based Violence and Gang Violence in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala
Kids in Need of Defense, May 4, 2017
“This report examines the relationship between gang violence and SGBV in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. It describes common forms of SGBV in the gang context and the ways in which gangs use SGBV to exert and maintain control over populations and territories in the areas where they operate. It also explains the factors that prevent reporting and prosecution of SGBV, both when the perpetrator is a gang member and when the victim lives in a gang-dominated area.”

Building a Better Future: A Blueprint for Central America’s Northern Triangle
Adrienne Arsht, Atlantic Council, Latin American Center, May 2017
“To many Americans, the difficult issues facing Central America’s Northern Triangle—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—may seem distant. But the future of the United States is tied to these countries as some of our closest neighbors. Geography alone demonstrates that their stability and  prosperity is critical to our national interest.”

Crossing the Line: U.S. Border Agents Illegally Reject Asylum Seekers
B. Shaw Drake, Eleanor Acer, and Olga Byrne, Human Rights First, May 2017
“This report is based on 125 cases of individuals and families wrongfully denied access to U.S.
asylum procedures at U.S. ports of entry. Many more have likely suffered a similar fate as these abuses often goes unreported due to the security threats faced by those who are turned away, the dearth of legal counsel, and the lack of effective compliance mechanisms and monitoring of CBP practices.”

The Perils of Expedited Removal: How Fast-Track Deportations Jeopardize Asylum Seekers
Kathryn Shepherd and Royce Bernstein Murray, American Immigration Council, May 9, 2017
“This report shows through the use of original testimony that the government’s reliance on ‘fast-track’ deportation methods, such as expedited removal, in conjunction with detention often results in disadvantaging one of the most vulnerable groups of non-citizens currently in the U.S. immigration system: women and their children held in detention centers in rural, isolated locations in Texas and Pennsylvania.”

Systemic Indifference: Dangerous & Substandard Medical Care in US Immigration Detention
Clara Long and Grace Meng, Human Rights Watch, May 8, 2017
“This report examines serious lapses in health care that have led to severe suffering and at times the preventable or premature death of individuals held in immigration detention facilities in the United States.”

Protecting Assets and Child Custody in the Face of Deportation
“This one-of-a-kind resource is designed for immigrants and those who work with them; the host of attorneys, nurses, social workers, religious workers who are stepping up in challenging times. Appleseed’s Manual will help families develop plans in advance to deal with critical financial and family issues in the event of deportation, arrest and other family emergencies.”

U.S. Senate Report: Wall Costs Could Soar Toward $70 Billion
U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, April 18, 2017
“The Democratic staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today issued a report detailing that costs for the Administration’s proposed concrete wall along the southern border could soar to nearly $70 billion—not including the significant costs and legal resources required for land acquisition. The report is based in part on documents and briefings provided by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials.”

*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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