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Migration News Brief 2.7.20

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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

Early Arrival: Brooklyn Man Shot in Face During Attempted ICE Arrest
Max Siegelbaum & Mazin Sidahmed, Documented NY, Feburary 7, 2020
“A 26 year-old-man was shot by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent during an attempted arrest of another man in Gravesend. Eric Diaz-Cruz was shot in the head by an ICE agent who had come to arrest his mother’s boyfriend Gaspar Avendano-Hernandez, who had been previously deported.”

El Salvador says it’s not ready to receive asylum seekers
AP News, February 6, 2020
“‘We are not going to admit anyone seeking asylum until we as a country have the conditions and technical, financial, and human capacity to be able to give these people who are seeing asylum and sent to another country the best treatment,’ Hill Tinoco said.”

Exclusive: Video Shows Controversial Use of Force Inside an ICE Detention Center
Tom Dreisbach, NPR, February 6, 2020 
“Detention officers then sprayed pepper spray at the men at least three times and forcibly removed them from the tables. As they visibly recoiled from the spray, some of the detainees were pushed into walls, pulled to the ground or dragged on the floor by guards.”

President Trump, don’t ignore the suffering at the border caused by your policies
Sister Norma Pimentel, The Washington Post, February 5, 2020 
“If you stop to meet the families and talk to the mothers, you will learn many of them are there because they fear for their children’s lives in their own country. If you had come last week, you would have heard the story of a 14-year-old girl who was raped in her home country and is now five months pregnant. Her mother knows the man who raped her child.”

Hundreds of Salvadorans deported by US were killed or abused, report reveals
Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, February 5, 2020
“Human Rights Watch has documented 138 deported Salvadorans murdered by gang members, police, soldiers, death squads and ex-partners between 2013 and 2019. The majority killed within two years of deportation by the same perpetrators they had tried to escape by seeking safety in the US.”

Jefe de protección fronteriza de EEUU sostiene reuniones en Honduras sobre migración
Proceso Digital, 5 de febrero de 2020 
“El director interino de la agencia de Aduanas y Protección de Fronteras de Estados Unidos, Mark Morgan, realiza una visita en Honduras para verificar avances sobre los acuerdos migratorios entre ambos países”.

The ongoing devastation of Trump’s ‘remain-in-Mexico’ policy 
Marisa Limón Garza, The Hill, February 4, 2020 
“Are we a beacon of hope for the world’s downtrodden and dispossessed, or are we just another level of hell that migrants must survive in their near impossible hope of finding a safe place for their families to live?”

Lawmakers request watchdog probe of Trump admin’s ending of temporary protected status
John Bowden, The Hill, February 4, 2020 
“‘The Trump Administration favored a predetermined political decision over the collective expertise of the State Department, disregarding the guidance provided by every other relevant office,’ they argued.”

Exclusive: Customs and Border Protection Gains an Extra Layer of Secrecy 
Ken Klippenstein, The Nation, February 4, 2020 
“On Friday, the Trump administration quietly designated the entire Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, which policies US borders, as a ‘Security Agency,’ according to an internal memo obtained by The Nation. This follows repeated attempts by federal immigration authorities to dramatically expand their reach in recent years.”

New travel ban reflects Trump administration’s discriminatory intent 
Grace Meng, The Hill, February 4, 2020 
“But what the American public may not realize is that the ban will also result in family separations for Americans. It specifically targets immigrant visas for four of the countries. Most legal immigration to the U.S. is family-based, meaning a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident (‘green card’ holder) has petitioned for a close relative — such as a spouse or a child — to come to the U.S. to live. This means Americans who have been waiting months or even years for their family members to join them are now being told their family member’s nationality bars them from uniting.”

AP Exclusive: Border apprehensions drop 8 straight months 
Colleen Long & Ben Fox, KRGV 5, February 4, 2020 
“The reduction comes at a cost. More than 55,000 asylum seekers, including families and pregnant women, have been sent over the border to Mexico to wait out their asylum cases and have faced sickness and squalid conditions in makeshift camps, plus assault and kidnapping by cartels that patrol the borderlands.”

Death of Ugandan shows risks for African asylum seekers in Mexico
Anna-Catherine Brigida, The New Humanitarian, February 3, 2020 
“Her companions questioned whether Nabunjo’s death could have been prevented if she hadn’t been forced to wait for five months in Mexico, where they say the language barrier hindered her medical care.”

Guatemala ha recibido 378 hondureños y salvadoreños por acuerdo de asilo 
Proceso Digital, 3 de febrero de 2020 
“La mayoría de los deportados, que suman 136 mujeres, 98 hombres y 144 menores de edad, ‘solicitó retornar de forma voluntaria’ a sus respectivos países, aclaró Mena, quien apuntó además que algunos son asistidos en el regreso por la Organización Internacional para las migraciones (OIM), aunque otros han decidido ‘hacerlo por sus propios medios’”.

Mexico: An estimated 700 migrant children stranded in Matamoros near U.S. border
UNICEF, February 1, 2020 
“Conditions for children and families on the ground, many of whom have been waiting at the border for weeks or months, are difficult because of insecurity and limited access to essential services.”

“Women to One Side, Men to the Other”: How the Border Patrol’s New Powers and Old Carelessness Separated a Family 
Dara Lind, ProPublica, January 31, 2020 
“They were ultimately allowed to stay and seek asylum in the U.S., a chance migrants who’ve entered more recently may never get. But the family’s well-being was threatened by their fourth-month split across an international border. Furthermore, the separation set off a chain of consequences that threaten their chances of ultimately winning asylum.”

Fewer Asylum Seekers Have Lawyers Under Trump Administration Policy
Alejandro Lazo, The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2020 
“Under the policy, known as ‘Remain in Mexico,’ immigration lawyers say their work is complicated by the need to work in high-crime border cities and the difficulty of staying in touch with clients who don’t have a stable place to live or consistent contact information.”

Trump’s wall is destroying the environment activists are protecting 
Laiken Jordahl, The Medium, January 30, 2020 
“It will cause flooding and soil erosion, sully Organ Pipe’s spectacular dark night skies with blinding floodlights and destroy a huge swath of habitat to create a 60-foot dead-zone that Border Patrol will pave with a patrol road and stake with sensors. It will destroy indigenous sacred sites and burial grounds. At least 20 archeological sites will be destroyed. Construction crews have already unearthed human remains.”

Mexican Enforcement

As Mexico abuses migrants under Trump’s orders, where is Congress? 
Alejandra Macías Delgadillo, The Hill, February 4, 2020 
“Members of Congress have fought funding for a physical wall but have ignored the wall of Mexican military. The House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations must provide oversight. House Foreign Affairs rightfully protested the freezing of U.S. aid to Northern Triangle countries but has been silent on threats against Mexico.”

Han enviado a Juárez a 19 mil 300 extranjeros
Hérika Martínez Prado, El Diario México, 5 de febrero de 2020 
“Además de haber recibido a la mayor cantidad de migrantes retornados a México por el Gobierno de Donald Trump, Ciudad Juárez ha albergado a migrantes que cruzaron por otras fronteras como Nogales y Piedras Negras, además de que fue elegida para retornar a los migrantes de lengua portuguesa”.

Activistas acusan a México de política migratoria opaca y errática 
Juan Manuel Ramírez, La Vanguardia, 30 de enero de 2020
“El activista, junto con representantes de 10 organizaciones, exhortó al Estado mexicano ‘que deje de darle vueltas y permita, lo más pronto posible, la visita de la Comisión interamericana de derechos Humanos (CIDH) a los centros de detención de la frontera sur y norte”.  

‘Ni Calderón nos impidió entrar a estaciones migratorias’, critican ONG a gobierno de AMLO
Alberto Pradilla, Animal Politico, 30 de enero de 2020 
“‘El daño a las personas que fueron deportadas ya está hecho’, dijo Rita. En el periodo en el que los activistas no pudieron acceder a las estaciones migratorias, cientos de personas fueron deportadas, según los datos ofrecidos por el INM”.

Acciones de la GN, lejos de los DDHH y cercanas a las militarización: LAWG 
102.5 FM, 29 de enero de 2020 
“En entrevista Daniella Burgi-Palomino, co-directora del Latin America working Group, habló con Ana Francisca Vega para en Director sobre el programa ‘Quédate en México’… ‘Se está creando una situación que provoca el cansancio y hartazgo de los solicitantes’, comentó.”

Root Causes 

Confronting Internal Forced Displacement in El Salvador 
Sonja Wolf, NACLA, February 4, 2020 
“The legislation mandates the creation of a registry of displaced persons and the establishment of a National System with the same name, SINAPI, headed by the Ministry of Justice. Resources permitting, the SINAPI is meant to coordinate humanitarian assistance, such as housing in temporary shelters, protection, and durable solutions, including the safe return or resettlement of victims of forced displacement.”

Mexico remains the deadliest country in the world for journalists
Laurie Timmers, Euronews, February 4, 2020 
“Latin America is the region with the highest number of killings with 18 confirmed cases, followed by Asia-Pacific (12), Africa (9), the Middle East and the Arab world (8) and Europe (2).”

Y sin la MACCIH y la UFECIC en Honduras: ¿Cual es la ruta? 
CESPAD, 4 de febrero de 2020 
“Se ha constituido una nueva unidad en el Ministerio Público, la Unidad Fiscal Especial Contra las Redes de Corrupción (UFERCO), al igual que UFECIC, dirigida por el Fiscal Luis Javier Santos. Sin embargo, el mismo Fiscal Santos, ha denunciado la que UFERCO cuenta con menos presupuesto que UFECIC; los fiscales tienen menos protección y los salarios son más bajos (lo cual genera desmotivación) y no cuentan con el apoyo de al menos 25 técnicos especialistas que tenia UFECIC a traves de la MACCIH”.

El país con el desempleo más bajo de América Latina (y por que es una paradoja) 
Cecilia Barría, BBC, 4 de febrero de 2020 
“Basicamente, como hay tan poco trabajo formal en Guatemala, la gente ya no busca. Y cuando dejas de buscar, estadísticamente no estás en la categoría de ‘desempleado’. Es una paradoja que deja en evidencia cómo el mundo de las estadísticas puede crear imágenes que desde un punto de vista lógico son difíciles de entender”.

Honduras: uno de los lugares más peligrosos del mundo para los periodistas
Conexion Honduras, 3 de febrero de 2020 
“Durante la última década, al menos 40 han sido asesinados en relación con su trabajo, según un informe publicado por el Instituto Internacional de Prensa (IPI). Esta cifra convierte a Honduras en el segundo país más letal para un reportero, y más peligrosos que algunas zonas de guerra”.

The death of anti-corruption efforts in Central America – or – Hang Crepe on Your Nose 
Joy Olson, Joy Olson’s blog, February 1, 2020 
“We should all be in mourning for Central America. Not only because a new caravan of migrants decided to abandon their homeland in search of safety and a better life, but because Honduran President Juan Orland Hernandez has killed off the innovative anti-corruption mechanism that brought at least some hope that things might change.”

Honduras: Casi mil masacres en último decenio dejo imperio criminal 
El Liberator, 1 de febrero de 2020 
“Los datos del Observatorio de la Violencia de la UNAH, revelan que entre 2010 y 2019, el crimen asesinó a casi 4,000 personas en las 988 masacres documentadas, contabilizando únicamente aquellos hechos con tres o más víctimas”.

Murdered Salvadoran journalist’s boyfriend given 50 years for femicide 
The Guardian, January 31, 2020
“The murder of Turcios in 2018 made headlines and prompted the government to declare a national emergency against femicide – the killing of a owman by a man because of her gender. El Salvador, a country of 6 million people, has one of the world’s highest rates of femicide, according to the United Nations.”

El 48.3% de los hondureños viven en pobreza, según nuevo método de medición
Proceso Honduras, 30 de enero de 2020
“El 42.7% de los hogares de Honduras, considerado un país de ingreso medio-bajo, viven en pobreza, indicó Díaz, quien enfatizó que modificar el método para medir la pobreza no supone una reducción de la misma”.

Finding new Light in Honduras 
Eric Olson and Adriana Beltran, Univision, January 29, 2020 
“Politicians of all stripes were implicated in schemes to launder government money through bogus non-profits that would line their pockets. A former honduran President, Pepe Lobo whom the United States backed in the post-coup period in 2009 and 2010, was implicated in extensive corruption and his wife was sentence to 58 years in prison for, among other things, stealing from a special fund for school children in her impoverished nation.”

La ONU propuso una Cicíes como la de Guatemala y Bukele prefirió la de la OEA
Jimmy Alvarado, El Faro, 29 de enero de 2020 
“‘La CICES se debería establecer a través de un instrumento con rango de tratado, que podría incluir las reformas del derecho interno que sean necesarias para permitir su funcionamiento. Este tratado implicaría su ratificación legislativa, de conformidad con las normas constitucionales internas”, dice la propuesta de la ONU.”

In Memoriam: 28 indigenous rights defenders murdered in Latin America in 2019 
Cultural Survival, January 28, 2020 
“Attacks against Indigenous human rights defenders have shown an alarming surge over the past three years. UN Special Rapporteur Vicky Tauli Corpuz has called this trend a ‘global crisis,’ denouncing persistent impunity against those who commit these crimes. Of this list, only one of 28 murders have been investigated conclusively and perpetrators brought to justice.”

Cómo Donald Trump dio luz verde a la corrupción en Guatemala y Ucrania 
Sebastián Escalón, Nomada, 21 de enero de 2020 
“Esta declaración sonaba familiar: en un lejano país centroamericano, otro pacto de corruptos había logrado exactamente lo mismo: encontrar políticos norteamericanos dispuestos a empujar sus interes. Y estos, gracias a las mismas herramientas: lobistas y campañas de desinformación”.


Actions, Alerts, Resources 

First month of the new year marked by setbacks on migration and environmental policies 
Alianzas Americas, February 6, 2020 
“Containment, detention and deportation have become the defining featuers of immigration policy under the Lopez Obrador administration in Mexico. The numbers speak for themselves: More than 2,000 people were deported in January  and more than 60,000 are trapped along the border as a result of the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP).

Deported to Danger
Human Rights Watch, February 5, 2020 
“Report: United States Deportation Policies Expose Salvadorans to Death and Abuse.”

ONG se pronuncian por las estaciones migratorias 
Centro PRODH, January 30, 2020 
“Organizaciones y redes de defensoras y defensores de derechos de las personas migrantes y con necesidades de protección internacional, en relación con la actual situación de ingreso a estaciones migratorias en México, convocamos a: Rueda de prensa urgente”.

*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.