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Migration News Brief 10.23.19

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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: lalvarez@lawg.org.

US Enforcement

Trump Policy Puts Migrants in Danger in Mexico
Alexandra Villareal, NBC New York, October 21, 2019

“While she was forced to shelter in Ciudad Juárez, a stranger broke into her hotel room and raped her, her lawyer said. After she was let back into the U.S. and detained, she discovered she was pregnant. And once immigration authorities found out, they decided to remove her from their care with almost no notice.”

Aumenta la cifra de mexicanos que piden asilo o intentan ingresar sin documentos a EEUU
Univision, 21 de octubre de 2019

“Los mexicanos vuelven a ocupar el primer lugar en la inmigración indocumentada hacia Estados Unidos desde agosto de 2019, superando a los centroamericanos, según cifras del diario The Washington Post. Expertos consideran que la violencia en México sería una de las causas principales para que cientos de personas decidan abandonar el país.”

White House Factions Fight Over Trump’s Next Homeland Security Secretary
Franco Ordoñez, NPR, October 21, 2019 

“But the hard-liners have argued that there are alternative ways to work around the law to accommodate their preferred candidates. ‘It’s more of giving the boss bad advice,’ a White House official not authorized to discuss the matter told NPR, referring to Doocey’s guidance.”

US takes step to require DNA samples from asylum-seekers
Colleen Long, AP News, October 21, 2019 

“The new regulations willy apply to adults who cross the border illegally and are briefly detained by Customs and Border Protection, or for a longer period by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Those who come to official crossing and are considered inadmissible and not further detained will be exempt.”

Trump Administration’s Scaledown of Refugee Program Is Built to Endure
Michelle Hackman, The Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2019

“The government has increased vetting of most refugees, slowing the arrival of people who were previously approved. It also said last month that it would stop accepting most new referrals from the United Nations agency that coordinates world-wide refugee resettlement, meaning almost no new applicants will enter the yearslong process required for resettlement in the U.S.”

Children Die at Record Speed on U.S. Border While Coyotes Get Rich
Nacha Cattan, Bloomberg, October 19, 2019 

“He earned about $35,000 from the family, and soon after had another three children with their parents seek passage. ‘They want to cross, no matter what,’ he says. ‘I don’t know where the idea comes from that you can stop this.’”

Coming Out in Uganda Was a Death Sentence. The U.S. Border Was a Trap
John Stanton, Rolling Stone, October 18, 2019

“In Uganda, especially in 2012, coming out could mean a death sentence. Existing laws in the country made being gay a crime, and the government was actively considering legislation to impose the death penalty against anyone found to have engaged in “aggressive homosexuality.””

She fled a violent Honduran gang to seek asylum in Texas. Now she might be deported because she didn’t file paperwork in Mexico
Julián Aguilar and Acavia Coronado, The Texas Tribune, October 18, 2019

“Elizabeth gave a sworn statement to asylum officers that in 2013, gangsters and corrupt police officers killed her brother because he declined to be part of their group in Honduras, according to the interview transcript. But an asylum officer told Elizabeth that because of the new regulation, she can’t apply for asylum in the U.S.”

A Mexican Immigrant In ICE Custody Died After Officials Waited More Than Seven Hours To Transfer Him To A Hospital
Hamed Aleaziz, BuzzFeed, October 17, 2019

“A detention center holding immigrant detainees waited more than seven hours to transfer an ailing 37-year-old Mexican man to a hospital, where he died from bleeding in his brain, according to internal documents obtained by BuzzFeed News that reveal previously undisclosed details about the death and raise new questions about the man’s treatment.”

En septiembre se rompió récord de hondureños deportados
El Pulso, 16 de octubre de 2019

“Septiembre cerró con una cifra récord de 87 mil 337 hondureños deportados tanto por la vía la aérea, terrestre y marítima, según cifras oficiales dadas a conocer este martes por parte de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores y Cooperación Internacional de México.”

A Cuban Asylum-Aseeker Died of An Apparent Suicide After Spending Months in ICE Detention
Hamed Aleaziz & Adolfo Flores, BuzzFeed News, October 16, 2019

“A 43-year-old Cuban asylum-seeker who had gone on a hunger strike after becoming frustrated with his immigration case died of an apparent suicide after months in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, according to an internal government report obtained by BuzzFeed News.”

Las certezas, las incógnitas y las mentiras del acuerdo de asilo con EEUU
Javier Estrada Tobar, Nomada, 16 de octubre de 2019

“Pero todavía no hay una claridad de las condiciones en que se llevará a cabo el proceso, lo que pasará con el cambio de gobierno en 2020, los riesgos que correrán los asilados en unas de las regiones más peligrosas del mundo o la efectividad de los planes económicos.”

Trump to reinstate $150M in aid to Central America
Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, October 15, 2019

“The new $150 million in aid will go toward the implementation of the bilateral agreements and letters of intent to work together between DHS and foreign ministry offices struck over the summer. Exactly $50 million will go toward the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees programs in two of the countries.”

Mexican Enforcement

Rights groups slam Mexico detention of documented asylum seekers
Sandra Cuffe, Al Jazeera, October 18, 2019

“After Trump threatened to impose tariffs earlier this year, Mexico deployed thousands of troops from the incipient National Guard to southern border regions and stopped issuing northbound temporary transit permits in Chiapas.Rights groups say Mexico is doing too much to placate Trump and that the Mexican government has adopted similar “racist” policies.”

“Así sean de Marte” vamos a regresar a los migrantes, advierte INM 
Rosa Elvira Vargas, La Jornada, 22 de octubre de 2019

“Luego se refirio a los ‘compañeros o humanos de la raza negra,’ los viajeros africanos que provocan violencia en las estaciones migratorias y que con esa actitud ‘lo único que hacen ante el colectivo nacional es cerrar las puertas, es concientizar y sembrar xenofobia en el  pueblo de México”.

Mexico deports 311 Indian migrants back to South Asia
The Associated Press, ABC News, October 16, 2019

“The  vast majority of migrants transiting Mexico toward the U.S. border are from Central America, but among the mix are people from all over the world.”

Mass arrests of asylum seekers on their way to U.S. Border Branded ‘Human Hunt’: ‘They need international protection
Chantal Da Silva, Newsweek, October 14, 2019 

“Branding the arrests as a ‘human hunt,’ Lacruz told AP that the decision to arrest asylum seekers after they had traveled at least 20 miles and then send them back to Tapachula was an ‘exercise in cruelty.’’

Disuelven en México caravana de 2.000 migrantes; iban a EEUU
Isabel Mateos, Benjamin Alfaro y Amy Guthrie, Associated Press, 12 de octubre de 2019

“Las autoridades mexicanas disolvieron el sábado una caravana de unos 2.000 migrantes que habían partido del sur de México con la esperanza de llegar a Estados Unidos, en medio de las dificultades cada vez mayores para obtener un permiso con el que puedan transitar por el país.”

Root Causes 

Disappeared in El Salvador: The return of a Cold War nightmare
Mary Beth Sheridan and Anna-Catherine Brigidia, The Washington Post, October 19, 2019 

“The legacy of fear in El Salvador is profound. Three decades after the war, there are people who are only now revealing the disappearance of a relative in that conflict. Back then the scourge was death squads. Now it’s gangs and rogue police.”

Nuevo asesinato de defensor del territorio Garífuna
La Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, 19 de octubre de 2019

“Desafortunadamente el declive del estado de derecho en Honduras ha dejado como resultado un 95% de homicidios que permanecen en la impunidad. La situación además de deplorable implica un impulso para el éxodo masivo por el cual atraviesa nuestro pueblo.”

Honduran President’s Brother Is Found Guilty of Drug Trafficking
Emily Palmer and Elisabeth Malkin, The New York Times, October 18, 2019

“A New York jury convicted the brother of the president of Honduras on cocaine trafficking charges on Friday, ending a trial that offered a blueprint for the way drug money penetrated the highest levels of Honduran politics to buy protection and immunity”

Brother of Honduran president convicted of drug conspiracy in U.S.
Associated Press, NBC News, October 19, 2019 

“The two-week trial put a spotlight on the lucrative drug trade between the United States and Honduras, where thousands of migrants have fled toward the U.S border with Mexico.” 

Honduras President’s Brother Convicted in Drug-Conspiracy Case
José de Córdoba, The Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2019

“A younger brother of Honduras’s president was found guilty of trafficking more than 200 tons of cocaine in a trial that revealed deep links between drug cartels and top officials in one of Washington’s closest allies in Central America.”

Will Tony Hernández Conviction Upend Narco-Politics in Honduras? 
Parker Asmann, InSight Crime, October 18, 2019 

“These criminal structures still stand and will continue to do so as long as the United States views the sitting president — who was named as a co-conspirator in his brother’s drug conspiracy — as an ally worthy of US security assistance.”

Jury finds ‘Tony’ Hernandez, brother of Honduran president, guilty of drug trafficking
Jeff Ernst & David C. Adams, Univision, October 18, 2019 

“President Hernández has argued that the case against his brother is a product of his own efforts to combat violence and drug trafficking in Honduras, with the support of the United States. That notably included a 2012 agreement to extradite Honduran citizens to the United States.”

Cartels on the rise
PRI’s The World, October 18, 2019 

“The violence in Culiácan and elsewhere in Mexico has raised questions about President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s approach to curbing corruption and cartel violence. Security analyst and reporter Deborah Bonello speaks to host Marco Werman.”

Suman en 17 días 9 mujeres asesinadas
El Diario de Juárez, 18 de octubre de 2019

“Con ellas suman nueve personas del sexo femenino víctimas de homicidios en los 17 días de este mes. En lo que va del 2019 se han registrado 123 asesinatos de mujeres, de acuerdo con datos de la Fiscalía Zona Norte.”
The failed arrest of El Chapo’s son turned a Mexican city into an urban war zone 
Kevin Sieff, The Washington Post, October 18, 2019

“But as Mexican security officials crept closer to Guzmán on Thursday, they were informed that they did not yet have an arrest warrant for him. They needed to wait, according to Security Minister Alfonso Durazo — a remarkable misstep that quickly turned the city of Culiacán into an urban war zone and ultimately led to the release of one of Mexico’s most infamous drug traffickers.”

President Trump says he will unfreeze security aid to Central American countries
Nick Miroff, The Washington Post, October 16, 2019

“The president did not specify how much money he had authorized, but a person familiar with the decision said the amount for the three nations totals $143 million. The decision does not restore all of the money Trump suspended, some of which has been diverted to support the Venezuelan opposition”

Actions, Alerts, Resources 

Migrating for Survival: A Conversation between Women from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico
Andrea Dominique Galeano Colindres & Vanessa Albertina Sosa López, Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition, October 11, 2019
“When we talk about migrant women, the first challenge is to render them visible, understand their motives, the risks they face, and their circumstances. If we wish to fully understand the situation that migrant women from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras confront, the first obstacle we need to face is the lack of gender-dis aggregated data.”

Investing in the Neighborhood: Changing Mexico-U.S. Migration Patterns and Opportunities for Sustainable Cooperation
Andrew Selee, Silvia E. Giorguli-Saucedo, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto y Claudia Masferrer, Migration Policy Institute, El Colegio de México, Septiembre de 2019

“To build understanding of the changing migration landscape and begin to develop a shared vision for future cooperation, the Migration Policy Institute and El Colegio de México convened the Study Group on Mexico-U.S. Migration in late 2018 and early 2019. The group’s members include leading experts from government, academia, civil society, and the private sector.”

Invertir en el Vecindario: Cambios en los Patrones de Migración Entre México y Estados Unidos y Oportunidades Para Una Cooperación Sostenible
Andrew Selee, Silvia E. Giorguli-Saucedo, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto y Claudia Masferrer, Migration Policy Institute, El Colegio de México, Septiembre de 2019

“En medio de grandes transformaciones de los flujos migratorios entre Estados Unidos y México a lo largo de la última década, un nuevo reporte del MPI y El Colegio de México delinea un plan de acción para nuevas políticas con un enfoque binacional.”

*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.