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Migration News Brief 10.30.20

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Migration News Brief for October 30, 2020 

Source: Lauri Alvarez

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.




Países de América Latina deben garantizar una respuesta sostenida hasta que llegue una vacuna, dice OPS
Sistema Integral de Información en Derechos Humanos, 26 de octubre de 2020
“Estos picos muestran que, si bien la región está ‘trabajando arduamente en la preparación para una vacuna, también debemos mantener un rumbo firme y constante para continuar luchando contra el virus sin una vacuna’. Instó a todos los países ‘a que den prioridad a un enfoque de comunicaciones transparente y proactivo sobre la COVID-19. Las personas de nuestra región anhelan tener orientación clara. La comunicación eficaz y coherente sobre lo que pueden hacer para protegerse y evitar infecciones sigue siendo vital’”.

IMF concerned over post-COVID social unrest across Latin America – official
Rodrigo Campos, Reuters, October 22, 2020
“‘Some of the determinants of social unease are going to worsen and that generates our concern for the region, for lots of countries in the region,’ Alejandro Werner, the Fund’s director for the Western Hemisphere, said in an interview with Reuters. ‘Coming out of the pandemic, we will have a level of economic activity and employment that will be much lower than before, a level of poverty and income distribution that is worse,’ he added.”

United States

‘They were sending the virus’: Guatemala reels after U.S. deports hundreds of deportees with COVID-19
Daniel Gonzales, AZ Central, October 28, 2020
“The shockingly high number of deportees who tested positive on those three deportation flights in mid-April — 137 in all — confirmed the fears of some Guatemalan officials: The U.S. under the Trump administration was exporting the coronavirus to Guatemala. The high numbers also indicated that deportees who had arrived from the U.S. on previous deportation flights in April and March also may have been infected in the U.S., most likely in crowded immigration detention centers, back to their families and communities in Guatemala, including to remote rural areas of the country where the majority of migrants are from.”

How Trump and Bolsonaro Broke Latin America’s Covid-19 Defenses
David D. Kirkpatrick, José María León Cabrera, The New York Times, October 27, 2020
“Together, the two men, fierce opponents of Latin America’s leftists, took aim at Cuba’s great pride: the doctors it sends around the world. Mr. Trump and Mr. Bolsonaro drove 10,000 Cuban doctors and nurses out of impoverished areas of Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and El Salvador. Many left without being replaced only months before the pandemic arrived. Then, the two leaders attacked the international agency most capable of fighting the virus — the Pan-American Health Organization, or PAHO — citing its involvement with the Cuban medical program.”

Experts project increase in migrants at US-Mexico border as pandemic devastates Latin America
Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, October 21, 2020
“Immigration experts are expecting an increase in the number of migrants journeying to the US-Mexico border in the coming months following the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Latin America. As countries put lock downs in place earlier this year, the number of Central Americans migrating north dropped. From March to April, arrests on the US-Mexico border plummeted from 30,389 to just over 16,000, before gradually ticking up again, according to US Customs and Border Protection data.”


Guatemala health workers face retaliation over COVID-19 concerns
Sandra Cuffe, Al Jazeera, October 26, 2020
“‘My colleagues are all scared. They say, “look what happened to the person who most spoke out”,’ said Chacvez, and Indigenous Maya K’iche mother of three who worked for four years at the El Quiche Regional Hospital, 137km (85 miles) northwest of the capital. But as is the case with so many public health workers in Guatemala, basic labour rights eluded Chavez because she works on a contract basis, a problem that has been exacerbated by COVID-19.”


Estado de Honduras abandonó a las mujeres durante la pandemia
Criterio.hn, 28 de octubre de 2020
“Según los sicólogos, el estrés por el confinamiento, la falta de recursos económicos, el hacinamiento en los hogares, la falta de alimentos, entre otros factores, exacerbaron los ánimos de los abusadores, generando una elevación en los casos de violencia doméstica e intrafamiliar entre las que se ven afectadas las mujeres, niños, niñas y adultos mayores de ambos sexos, en estos últimos hay un buen número que también presentan capacidades disminuidas”.

No podemos seguir cerrando empresas y aumentar niveles de pobreza, requiere el Cohep
Proceso Digital, 24 de octubre de 2020
“‘No podemos continuar dándonos el lujo de cerrar empresas y seguir aumentando los niveles de pobreza en el país, no podemos dar el lujo de seguir despidiendo personas porque no se está vendiendo lo suficiente para poder sostener y pagar planillas,’ exclamó Molina. Argumentó que Honduras, aparte de una crisis sanitaria, sufre de problemas económicos y pérdidas de empleos de los protocolos de bioseguridad”.

Honduras quedará endeudada por los próximos 35 años debido a la pandemia
Criterio.hn, 23 de octubre de 2020
“Debido a los altos préstamos adquiridos por el gobierno durante la pandemia de Covid-19, Honduras quedará endeudada por los próximos 35 años, estimó el economista Alejandro Kafati, analista del Foro Social de la Deuda Externa y Desarrollo de Honduras, (FOSDEH)”.


Mexico admits Covid death toll much higher than official number
Tom Phillips, The Guardian, October 26, 2020
“Mexico’s government has admitted its Covid-19 death toll is dramatically higher than official figures have suggested, with the disease now suspected of killing at last 139,153 people. The official coronavirus death toll of Latin America’s second largest economy stands at 88,924 – the fourth highest number in the world after the US, Brazil and India. But on Sunday officials conceded the true number of Covid-19 deaths was likely to be at least 50,000 or higher.”

Time to return to stricter Covid measures, warns minister as cases rise
Mexico News Daily, October 23, 2020
“As new coronavirus case numbers rise, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell warned Thursday that stricter measures are needed to control the spread of the virus. Speaking at the Health Ministry’s coronavirus press briefing, López-Gatell noted that national data now shows that new case numbers increased 8% in epidemiological week 41, which ran from October 4 to 10, compared to the previous week.”


U.S. Enforcement

US steps up deportation of Haitians ahead of election, raising Covid fears
Julian Borger, The Guardian, October 29, 2020
“Some of the Haitians deported in recent weeks have been asylum seekers who had been taken from detention centres in what administration critics say is a rush to expel Black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean ahead of the election. The Haitian flights coincide with the forced repatriation of scores of Cameroonian, Congolese and other African asylum – seekers, many of whom were flown out while they had legal cases pending.”

Trump administration ‘acted with complete disregard’ for international law by deporting Hondurans — in Guatemala — civil society groups charge
Charles Davis, Business Insider, October 23, 2020
“‘DHS treats the US border as if it extends south to Guatemala and that it has the authority to police and deport migrants on foreign soil,’ Daniella Burgi-Palomino, co-director of the Latin American Working Group in Washington, DC, said in a statement. ‘It is unconscionable that DHS may have separated even more families and returned Hondurans fleeing persecution back to danger in this reckless operation,’ Dozens of civil society groups agree, demanding an ‘immediate investigation’ by the US State Department and DHS inspectors general.”

Pressure Builds on Biden to Knock Down ‘Every Mile’ of Trump’s Wall
Spencer Ackerman, Daily Beast, October 28, 2020
“Now, only days before the election that could unseat Trump, some immigration rights advocates and legal experts have a message for the man who has promised to dismantle the president’s legacy on immigration: Mr. Biden, tear down this wall. ‘Trump’s border wall is just another pretext for targeting immigrants and border communities,’ said Dror Ladin, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. ‘The construction of this unlawful border wall has desecrated tribal lands, leveled wildlife preservations, and destroyed border communities. Every unlawful mile of wall should be taken down, and the government must work with border communities to undo the damage that wall construction has already inflicted.’”

A renewed surge of migration from Central America could pose early test for a President Biden
Molly O’Toole, Los Angeles Times, October 27, 2020
“Biden has sought to distance himself from some parts of the Obama administration’s immigration policies, saying at his second debate with president Trump last week that the administration made a ‘mistake’ by putting too much emphasis on deportations. At the same times, he has also said the U.S. needs to show it can control its borders and has been wary of policy changes that might spark a sudden rush of migrants.”

Immigration policy is on the ballot. If voters don’t decide, the conservative Supreme Court will
Kimberly Atkins, The Boston Globe, October 27, 2020
“In the run-up to the election, the justices agreed to decide the fate of three major Trump administration immigration policies. Earlier this month, the Court agreed to take up the fate of Trump’s order to exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census for the approtionment of congressional districts. Last week, the court also agreed to rule on two more challenges to administration policies this term: the diversion of Pentagon funds to build a southern border wall, and the policy forcing asylum seekers from countries to the south to remain in Mexico while they wait for their cases to be decided.”

Number of Women Alleging Misconduct by ICE Gynecologist Nearly Triples
John Washington, José Olivares, The Intercept, October 27, 2020
“The total number of women known to have been seen by the doctor since 2018 who say they underwent or were pressured to undergo unnecessary treatments has risen to 57 — a higher number than previously known — according to the group of lawyers. The new numbers of relevant cases and women who remain in detention were included in the materials submitted to the closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill about the ordeal over women’s medical care at Irwin.”

Under Trump, US no longer leads world on refugee protections
Anita Snow, Julie Watson, AP News, October 26, 2020
“That reputation eroded during Donald Trump’s presidency as he cut the number of refugees allowed in by more than 80%, and Canada replaced the U.S. as No. 1 for resettling people fleeing war and persecution. Trump has arguably changed the immigration system more than any U.S. president, thrilling supporters with an ‘America first’ message and infuriating critics who call his signature domestic issue insular, xenophobic and even racist.”

Thousands of immigrants in Texas hope the courts or the election will save their protected status
Julián Aguilar, The Texas Tribune, October 26, 2020
“‘We have to keep working, we have to survive this pandemic,’ he said. ‘We’re going to keep moving forward, one way or another, life continues, We’ll see if there is a change in administration’ on Election Day. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign said that if elected, the Democratic presidential candidate would protect TPS recipients.”

New Policy Allows Immigrants To Be Deported Without Appearing In Immigration Court
María Inés Zamudio, WBEZ, October 24, 2020
“Previously, the expedited removal policy has been implemented only for immigrants detained within 100 miles of the U.S. borders with Canada or Mexico. Under an expanded policy, immigration agents nationwide have the power to decide if a person is undocumented and has been living in the country less than two years, thus making them eligible for deportation. The move allows for immigrants to be deported without having to appear in immigration court.”

The Squad Calls for UN Inquiry Into Alleged Human Rights Abuses at Trump’s DHS
Jessica Corbett, Truthout, October 24, 2020
“The four first-term progressive congresswomen collectively called the Squad led a letter Friday calling for independent international investigation of ‘recent, ongoing, and credible allegations of egregious human rights abuses by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), its components, and its private contractors.’”

Trump administration pressures CDC to back detention of migrant children in border hotels amid coronavirus
Lena H. Sun, Nick Miroff, The Washington Post, October 23, 2020
“The Trump administration has been pressuring health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to endorse the use of border hotels to hold migrant children before deporting them, a practice the government halted last month under court order, according to federal health officials. Career CDC officials have declined to sign off on a declaration requested by the Department of Health and Human Services affirming that the use of hotels to detain migrant children is the best way to protect them from the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to one HHS official who has seen the declaration.”

An ICE detainee won her immigration case nearly three weeks ago. She is still locked up.
René Kladzyk, El Paso Matters, October 23, 2020
“The government determined it would not appeal, so this was a final decision. Yet nearly three weeks later, 24-year-old América still has not been released from the El Paso Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility where COVID-19 rages. ‘I came to this country to look for protection, and instead I’ve been kept incarcerated. Even though I won, I don’t feel good. I need to be with my family, and I don’t understand why I’m still incarcerated,’ said América, who has already gotten sick with COVID-19 since she’s been held at the El Paso Service Processing Center, and is worried she might get it again.”

Inside the Refugee Camp on America’s Doorstep
Caitlin Dickerson, The New York Times, October 23, 2020
“The members of this displaced community requested refuge in the United States but were sent back into Mexico, and told to wait. They came there after unique tragedies: violent assaults, oppressive extortions, murdered loved ones. They are bound together by the one thing they share in common — having nowhere else to go. ‘Sometimes I feel like I can’t hold on anymore,’ said Jaqueline Salgado, who fled the camp from Southern Mexico, sitting outside her tent on a bucket as her children played in the dirt. ‘But when I remember everything I’ve been through, and how it was worse, I come back to the conclusion that I have to wait.’”

Migrant parents could face fateful choice: Be separated from their children or stay together in jail
Nick Miroff, The Washington Post, October 23, 2020
“Such a decision, known informally as ‘binary choice,’ could transform the family migration dynamics that have confounded the Trump administration and the Obama administration before it as successive waves of Central American families crossed the border and overwhelmed U.S. capacity to process their humanitarian claims. Most important, it would shift the nature of the decision about whether to separate children from their families at the border. Instead of it being up to the government, as it is now, it would be up to the migrant parents.”

Report: Migrant deaths in the desert have reached seven-year high
Chase Hunter, Conkite News, October 23, 2020
“Humanitarian groups and county officials along the border blame the rising deaths on years of border security policies that have pushed migrants towards riskier routes into the U.S. – along with this year’s harsh weather, expanded border security and COVID-19 health restrictions. ‘It’s kind of like stopping water: If you block it up in one place, it’s going to go somewhere else,’ said Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier. ‘We’re seeing the results of that as an increase in deaths.’”

US Ice officers ‘used torture to make Africans sign own deportation orders’
Julian Borger, The Guardian, October 22, 2020
“US immigration officers allegedly tortured Cameroonian asylum seekers to force them to sign their own deportation orders, in what lawyers and activists describe as a brutal scramble to fly African migrants out of the country in the run-up to the elections. Many of the Cameroonian migrants in a Mississippi detention centre refused to sign, fearing death at the hands of Cameroonian government forces responsible for widespread civilian killings, and because they had asylum hearings pending.”

Judge urges push to find 545 parents separated from children at the border
Kristina Davis, The San Diego Union Tribune, October 22, 2020
“The focus remains, for now, on the parents of 545 children who have been unreachable up to this point. There remains another 104 children who have no contact information on record, plus a group of 422 more children who are not considered eligible by the government for reunification because their parents either have serious criminal histories or pose some other risk. Volunteers are also counting on outreach campaigns, including letters sent to some 1,600 addresses on file and Spanish-language media coverage that provides a toll-free number for parents to connect with attorneys.”

US election 2020: Trump’s impact on immigration – in seven charts
Ed Lowther, BBC News, October 21, 2020
“President Trump has not brought about any significant changes to the number of people in either deportation category compared with his predecessor. The US Immigration, Customs and Enforcement agency, which handles most deportations, has described the current rate of removals as “extremely low”, blaming a lack of resources and “judicial and legislative constraints”, among other things.”

Mexican Enforcement

CNDH detecta 19 contagios de COVID en centros de detención de migrantes; INM negaba casos
Manu Ureste, Alberto Pradilla, Animal Politico, 24 de octubre de 2020
“No obstante, en la inspección realizada entre el 16 y el 19 de octubre, los visitadores de la CNDH también detectaron numerosas irregularidades en estas instalaciones. Por ejemplo, no hay servicios de luz y agua, las condiciones de higiene son malas, y lo más grave: detectaron a mujeres y niñas detenidas y que no presentaban síntomas aparentes conviviendo con otras personas migrantes contagiadas.”

Mexico Rights Agency Says Migrants Held Without Light, Water
News18, October 23, 2020
“Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission said Friday that some migrants are being held at some government facilities without proper sanitary measures, with migrants with COVID-19 mixed in with some without symptoms. The governmental commission said one facility in southern Chiapas state lacked enough face masks and hand gel, and said social distancing measures are not being followed.”


Root Causes

Letter to Secretary Pompeo on protection of Guapinol Water Defenders
Members of Congress, October 28, 2020
“The U.S. must work to end the pervasive impunity for the murder of Mr. Morazan and other environmental and water defenders in Honduras and ensure that the due process rights of Guapinol water defenders facing detention and prosecution are protected.”

De-Dollarization — Solution to El Salvador’s Fiscal Deficit or Catalyst for Instability?
Carmen Aída Lazo, El Faro, October 26, 2020
“If the draft 2021 budget presented by El Salvador’s government is approved, the country’s debt would increase next year by at least $1.4 billion dollars. It’s very likely that the debt increase could be even larger, since the budget’s estimate of increased government revenue is overly optimistic. This raises the question of where will the funds to cover this gap come from?”

Latin America’s History of Dirty Cops, Ministers and Generals
Parker Asmann, InSight Crime, October 23, 2020
“Over the years, a number of high-profile cases have illustrated the extent to which security officials have fallen on the wrong side of the law and involved themselves with organized crime groups. The idea of a conventional battle being waged between two autonomous actors — the government on one side and criminal groups on the other — is far from the truth. Officials and criminals interact much more frequently, relying on one another to negotiate the conditions that regulate order and violence to their mutual benefit.”

Suitcases of Cash: Guatemala’s Faltering Anti-Corruption Efforts
Sandra Cuffe, El Faro, October 22, 2020
“Guatemalan officials seized the stash last week when they raided a home in Antigua, 24 miles west of Guatemala City. The Special Anti-Impunity Prosecutor’s Bureau, FECI, was behind the operation, but was initially tight-lipped about the details, only noting that the money could be the proceeds from bribes to a government official during the previous administration of former President Jimmy Morales. Then, on October 20, the official’s name came to light. At FECI’s request, a judge issued an arrest warrant for José Benito, Minister of Communications, Infrastructure and Housing during the Morales administration. He stands accused of money laundering.”

Honduras: Authorities must guarantee transparency in trial of man accused of plotting the murder of Berta Cáceres
Amnesty International, October 22, 2020
“‘Amnesty International has repeatedly asked the Honduran authorities to guarantee the rights to justice, truth and reparation of Berta Cáceres’ family and COPINH members. In light of the restrictions on courtroom access related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the authorities must also take all appropriate measures to ensure that the trial is public and transparent through remote access,’ said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.”

Honduras, Guatemala y EEUU coordinan acciones para evitar nuevas caravanas de migrantes
La Prensa, 27 de octubre de 2020
“La vicecanciller hondureña para Asuntos Migratorios y Consulares, Nelly Jerez, dijo que el objetivo del encuentro fue ‘coordinar acciones’ para articular esfuerzos conjuntos para combatir la trata y tráfico de personas. Aseguró además que la migración es un derecho humano, pero debe hacerse de forma regular, ordenada y segura, y reafirmó su llamado a la población a ‘no arriesgarse en la ruto irregular que ha dejado luto y dolor en las familias hondureñas’.”

Según Red Nacional de Defensoras: Hombres armados están tras las mujeres de Guapinol
Heidy Dávila, Pasos de Animal Grande, 27 de octubre de 2020
“‘La denuncia sobre este conflicto se ha centrado mayormente en los liderazgos masculinos que hoy se encuentran encarcelados, quienes son compañeros de lucha y la vida de nuestras hermanas. Sin embargo, hoy, queremos poner el énfasis en los ataques hacia ellas, las que siempre han sido pilares del movimiento y ahora se han sumado a la lucha por la libertad de los presos políticos, mientras continúan garantizando el sostén diario de sus familias, hijas e hijos en sus hogares que enfrentan crisis de todo tipo’, señala un comunicado difundido en la conferencia de prensa”.

Un femicidio diario en Honduras durante el mes de septiembre
Criterio.hn, 25 de octubre de 2020
“La organización feminista remarca que el ‘confinamiento nunca significó seguridad para las mujeres y niñas en #Honduras’ y que la violencia machista es una pandemia que también se debe erradicar. Recientemente, la Tribuna de Mujeres Contra los Femicidios ‘Gladys Lanza’, desarrolló el tercer foro virtual ‘Situación de las violencias contra las mujeres y su manejo en el contexto de COVID-19’ en el que se reveló que en las veintitrés semanas de confinamiento se han registrado 138 femicidios y más de 76,520 llamadas con denuncias de violencia doméstica e intrafamiliar en todo el país (unas 274 llamadas al dia)”.

A 99 días de la desaparición forzada de Garífunas, persecución contra sus líderes continúa
Criterio.hn, 24 de octubre de 2020
“Este fin de semana se cumplen los días 98 y 99 desde la desaparición forzada de los jóvenes Milton Joel Martínez Álvarez, Suami Aparicio Mejía, Alber Santana Thomas y Snider Centeno, quienes fueron sacados de sus casas de habitación el pasado 18 de julio por hombres armados, que utilizaban indumentaria policial. Desde la desaparición de los jóvenes, Ofraneh ha denunciado la falta de voluntad por parte de las autoridades para dar con el paradero de los jóvenes y esclarecer los hechos, en una acción que ha incrementado la sospecha de la comunidad sobre la participación de agentes del Estado en un rapto que califican tenía el propósito de intimidarlos”.

Consideran curioso que durante la visita de funcionarios de EE.UU. a Honduras incremente el decomiso de narcoavionetas
Confidencial HN, 24 de octubre de 2020
“El penalista Ramón Barrios dijo este sábado que es curioso que cada vez que vienen a Honduras funcionarios de EE.UU. a evaluar la lucha contra el narcotráfico, se eleva el decomiso de narcoavionetas. Barrientos señaló que ‘evidentemente cuando vienen funcionarios de EE.UU., ya sea de la Administración para el Control de Drogas (DEA), o del Comando Sur a hacer evaluaciones o examen a la política de Estado en particular en Honduras, suceden acontecimientos, se ha visto un incremento de avionetas que han sido interceptadas, supuestamente se ha decomisado droga, digo supuestamente porque nunca se ve la droga ni a los pilotos que son capturados y procesados por el Ministerio Público’”.

Abandonados más de un millón de niños que el gobierno mantiene sin acceso a la educación
Criterio.hn, 24 de octubre de 2020
“A juicio del Presidente de la Sociedad de Padres de Familia de las Escuelas Públicas Honduras, Andrés Martínez, en este país centroamericano, lo que menos importa es la educación. Sostuvo, que las puertas del nuevo año lectivo, nadie sabe qué está haciendo el Ministro para garantizarles a los niños y jóvenes el retorno seguro a los centros de enseñanza. Indicó, que la Secretaría  de Educación tampoco está haciendo nada para acondicionar los centros educativos y las aulas de clase a manera de que haya distanciamiento de los niños y jóvenes. ‘¿Habrá gel para manos en todos los centros educativos?, ¿Habrán mascarillas para dotar a los niños y jóvenes?, esas son las preguntas que nos hacemos y no estamos viendo nada en este momento’, expresó”.

Estudio revela que 78 meses tarda un juicio de corrupción en los tribunales de justicia de Honduras
Radio America, 24 de octubre de 2020
“Según el estudio, un juicio en los tribunales en materia penal tarda entre 75 a 78 meses un caso de corrupción, pero en los circuitos especializados anticorrupción los mismos duran 24 a 28 meses, ya que debe respetarse el debido proceso ante los alegatos o cuestionamientos que realiza la defensa privada en contra de las pruebas que se presentan, en donde la Unidad Fiscal Especializada Contra Redes de Corrupción (UFERCO) deberá de mostrar sus capacidades para defender los intereses de la población hondureña”.

Actions, Alerts, and Resources

Webinar Series: Taking Stock of the Trump Administration’s Impact on Human Rights and Democracy in Latin America
Washington Office on Latin America
“The Washington Office on Latin America launched a four-part series that examines the Trump administration’s profound impact on human rights and democracy throughout Latin America—and imagines alternative, human rights-respecting approaches to U.S. foreign policy. Bringing together experts from all over the region, the weekly series began with an event on how President Trump’s foreign policy has bolstered authoritarian leaders in the region.”

Beyond Asylum: Deportation Relief During the Trump Administration
TRAC Immigration, October 29, 2020
“The latest case-by-case court records show that Immigration Judges completed 1,075,578 deportation cases thus far during the Trump Administration. Of these, 395,244 immigrants (37%) submitted applications for what is commonly known as ‘relief from deportation’—or simply ‘relief’—to the Immigration Court. If approved, an application for relief generally allows an immigrant to remain in the country and may provide a path to temporary or permanent status in the United States.”

Tearing Families Apart The Impact of Trump’s Immigration Agenda
FWD.us, September 29, 2020
“President Trump made immigration the dominant issue of his campaign, and then of his first term, and his record will be at the front of voters’ minds as we approach the November elections. Over the next four weeks, we will examine some of the Trump Administration’s most consequential immigration policies and identify the impact of these policies on our families, communities, and economy. We will also detail the overwhelming rejection of these actions by the American public, which has been galvanized by the courageous leadership of the people most severely impacted by these policies, and further assess the political ramifications.”

Rethinking the U.S.-Mexico Border Immigration Enforcement System: A Policy Road Map
Doris Meissner, Migration Policy Institute, October 2020
“In this road map, MPI Senior Fellow and former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Commissioner Doris Meissner outlines some of the steps to a more effective approach, one that builds on border management as an enduring function. Rather than a sole focus on thwarting illegal arrivals, successful border management requires cross-agency and cross-governmental collaboration that marries effective border security with fair, humane enforcement.”

Mexico and Central America: Governments priorities extractive projects over the rights of their citizens during the pandemic, according to report
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, October 2020
“Extractive projects have enjoyed preferential treatment during the pandemic. The health emergency has not stopped mining concessions in Honduras or the illegal logging of indigenous land in Panama. In Mexico, mega projects are considered ‘essential activities’ and key to economic recovery. Indigenous peoples, deeply affected by these initiatives and the historic abandonment by the state, have not been contemplated in pandemic containment strategies and the measures adopted do not necessarily respond to the region’s intercultural needs. They have not been guaranteed health cover, and their territorial and medicinal autonomy has been overlooked by states in their response to the pandemic.”

Reimagining Children’s Immigration Proceedings: A Roadmap for an Entirely New System Centered around Children
Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, October 2020
“In this report, we set out to reimagine the way in which the federal government adjudicates an unaccompanied or separated child’s request to remain permanently in the United States. Rather than addressing problems within the current system, we set out to develop a framework for a new system, built around the needs and capacities of children. To do so, we convened a symposium bringing together experts in the fields of immigration, international migration, child welfare, juvenile justice, and child development.”

* The 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.