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Migration News Brief 5.22.20

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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.

Source: Jonatan Rosas/Flickr


Press Release: International Civil Society Organizations Denounce Abuses in Honduras in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Latin America Working Group, May 22, 2020
“‘We urge the Honduran government to immediately end the excessive use of force which has resulted in people who are simply trying to survive being shot, tear gassed, beaten, or detained. Instead, the government should apply sensible precautions to protect the population from the pandemic with an understanding of people’s urgent needs and respect for human rights. The Honduran government should serve its citizens in this emergency without corruption or favoritism. The government should be aware that the international community is watching,” stated Lisa Haugaard, co-director of the Latin America Working Group (LAWG).”

Press Release: LAWG Strongly Condemns Extension of Asylum Ban, Denounces Continued Expulsions
Latin America Working Group, May 20, 2020
‘Let’s be clear, extending this asylum ban is not about public health concerns, it’s about using a pandemic to shut out the most vulnerable people seeking protection at our border. The Trump Administration continues to eviscerate our asylum system. The result will be that families, men, women, and children will be sent to danger and left in limbo. We urge the administration to rescind this order immediately,’ states Daniella Burgi-Palomino, LAWG’s co-director.”



Americas: States are failing to adequately protect rights of health workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic
Amnesty International, May 19, 2020
“Out of 21 in-depth interviews conducted by Amnesty International with health workers in United States, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Paraguay, only two told Amnesty International that they felt they had adequate or almost adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The rest raised concerns about the lack of adequate PPE. They also raised concerns about sick leave, rest breaks, and inadequate mental health support at work.”

We’re all on death row now’: Latin America’s prisons reel from Covid-19
Clavel Rangel, Joe Parkin Daniels, Tom Phillips, The Guardian, May 16, 2020
“The conditions in Los Llanos, like in many gang-controlled Latin American prisons, were dire well before the pandemic. A Reuters report on the massacre claimed some inmates had been so desperate they had eaten a cat. ‘We live among the shit and the trash,’ Miguel Calderón, 27, told his father in a voice message from inside the prison.”

“COVID-19 está devastando a las comunidades indígenas del mundo y no sólo se trata de la salud” – advierte experto de la ONU
José Francisco Cali Tzay, OACNUDH, 18 de mayo de 2020
“Los pueblos indígenas que pierden sus tierras y medios de vida se ven empujados a una mayor pobreza, a tasas más elevadas de malnutrición, a la falta de acceso al agua potable y al saneamiento, así como a la exclusión de los servicios médicos, lo que a su vez los hace particularmente vulnerables a la enfermedad. Pero frente a esas amenazas y en medio de ellas, las comunidades indígenas que han logrado resistir mejor la pandemia de la COVID-19 son las que han logrado la autonomía y el autogobierno, lo que les permite gestionar sus tierras, territorios y recursos, y garantizar la seguridad alimentaria mediante sus cultivos tradicionales y su medicina tradicional.”

AI: LatAm countries reverting to repression to enforce Covid-19 lockdowns
La Prensa Latina, May 15, 2020
“Countries in Latin America have been enforcing coronavirus-triggered lockdowns with punitive measures that unnecessarily curtail human rights, human rights watchdog Amnesty International said Friday. ‘Authorities across the Americas must avoid resorting to repressive and overreaching measures that unduly restrict human rights in the name of ‘protecting’ people from Covid-19,’ the London-based non-governmental organization said.”

La violencia contra la mujer no encontró amparo durante la cuarentena
María Luz Nóches, Valeria Gúzman, El Faro, 15 de mayo de 2020
“Pero el encierro ha promovido el alza de las denuncias por violencia doméstica en comparación con los meses previos a la crisis sanitaria. Para el caso de algunas mujeres, acatar la norma ha sido letal. Atender este problema no ha sido una prioridad para un país que en 2018 fue catalogado como el más violento para las mujeres.”

Latin America’s Next Generation of Authoritarians is Using COVID-19 to Consolidate Power
Geoff Thale, El Faro, May 13, 2020
“As civil society and the public have pushed countries to strengthen democracy and human rights, elites have found new ways to entrench and fortify corruption networks that weaken the rule of law and accountability to the citizenry. Simultaneously, economic and social inequality has deeply divided societies and undermined social cooperation within countries.The onset of COVID-19 has intensified these trends, and tempted a new generation of autocratic leaders to use this public health pandemic as a pretext to consolidate power.”

United States

US starts flights to take deported migrants to Mexico City
Associated Press, May 20, 2020
“In past years, the U.S. government used such flights to Mexico City, in the country’s center, to move migrants away from the border and discourage repeat attempts to cross. This time, it also cited coronavirus concerns.”

Deportaciones en avión hasta Ciudad de México: la nueva medida de la Patrulla Fronteriza en la pandemia
Isaias Alvarado, Univision, 20 de mayo de 2020
La Patrulla Fronteriza comenzó este martes a deportar a mexicanos detenidos tratando de cruzar ilegalmente hacia California en vuelos que llegan hasta la Ciudad de México, que ahora es el epicentro de los contagios del coronavirus en ese país y que está a 1,700 millas de distancia de la frontera”.

More Than 900 Children Have Been Expelled Under a Pandemic Border Policy
Caitlin Dickerson, The New York Times, May 20, 2020
“Hundreds of migrant children and teenagers have been swiftly deported by American authorities amid the coronavirus pandemic without the opportunity to speak to a social worker or plea for asylum from the violence in their home countries — a reversal of years of established practice for dealing with young foreigners who arrive in the United States.”

US Is Using Pandemic as an Excuse to Send Asylum Seekers Back Into Harm’s Way
Sandra Cuffe, Truthout, May 19, 2020
“The Trump administration began pushing its agenda of shutting down asylum in the U.S. right out of the gate, and COVID-19 has now provided a new justification. Purportedly to protect public health, the government has essentially shut down asylum at the southern border with Mexico while the U.S. spreads the virus through deportations.”

11 immigrants sue ICE, seeking release from Alvarado detention center where coronavirus has spread
Dianne Solis, The Dallas Morning News, May 19, 2020
“The suit is one of dozens around the nation that seeks the release of immigrants in the nation’s civil detention system, where more than 1,100 immigrants have contracted coronavirus. Immigration attorneys and public health experts have warned for weeks that the detention centers, jails and prisons are petri dishes for deadly coronavirus contagion.”

A dark milestone: More than 1,000 migrants in ICE custody now have the coronavirus
Jeff Gammage, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 19, 2020
“About half of the detainees tested by ICE have the virus, even though the enforcement agency has checked only 8% of the 27,908 immigrants it holds in jails and prisons across the country.”

US Deportations Are Exporting COVID-19 to Latin America and the Caribbean
Daniella Burgi-Palomino, Truthout, May 18, 2020
“There is no way to know how many more immigrants could already have been exposed to COVID-19, as ICE has only tested a fraction of those within its migrant jails. Of the ones that the agency did test, about 50 percent tested positive for COVID-19. ICE is now shuttling immigrants back and forth between migrant jails that have had COVID-19 outbreaks and then deporting them with just a temperature check.

The Trump Administration Is Rushing Deportations of Migrant Children During Coronavirus
Lomi Kriel, ProPublica, May 18, 2020
“While the deportation of children to dangerous situations is not a new phenomenon for U.S. authorities, what has shocked even veteran immigration attorneys is that the government is trying to so quickly remove, arguably against federal law, those most imperiled — all during a global pandemic.”

Health experts slam Trump administration’s use of public health law to close border
Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, May 18, 2020
“On Monday, more than two dozen health experts at leading public health schools, medical schools and hospitals raised concerns about the basis of those restrictions, saying ‘the nation’s public health laws should not be used as a pretext for overriding humanitarian laws and treaties that provide life-saving protections to refugees seeking asylum and unaccompanied children.’”

“The Wuhan of the Americas”: U.S. Deports COVID-19-Positive Immigrants to Haiti & Guatemala
Amy Goodwin, Edwidge Danticat, José Alejandro García Escobar, Democracy Now!, May 15, 2020
“In Guatemala, at least 117 people deported from the U.S. have tested positive for the virus as of May 4th, making up some 15% of Guatemala’s cases. Guatemala had temporarily suspended deportations from the U.S. after dozens of deported immigrants on a single April 13th flight tested positive, but allowed deportations to resume under the promise of stringent testing. But last week, someone who was deported after testing negative was confirmed COVID-19-positive after arriving in Guatemala. Guatemala’s health minister, Hugo Monroy, has called the U.S. ‘the Wuhan of the Americas.’”

“My son is in danger”: Fear mounts over largest coronavirus outbreak in ICE detention
Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, May 15, 2020
“In a brief call later that day, his client, 41-year-old Noe Perez, said he had contracted the coronavirus. That would make Perez, an immigrant from El Salvador, one of at least 986 immigrants who have tested positive for COVID-19 while in ICE custody, according to the agency’s latest tally. He is also among at least 149 ICE detainees who have contracted the disease while detained at the Otay Mesa Detention Center, a prison in the San Diego area that is home to the largest coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. immigration detention system.”

The Trump Administration’s Indefensible Legal Defense of Its Asylum Ban
Oona Hathaway, Just Security, May 15, 2020
“The members of Congress are right. Here, I focus on the brief paragraph in which the Trump administration attempted to reconcile the ban with U.S. international law obligations. The administration’s explanation suggests that it is not only ignoring its international law obligations in this case, but it also, apparently, misunderstands international law altogether.”

Trump’s Deportation Flights Are Inflaming the Pandemic
Laura Weiss, The New Republic, May 14, 2020
“Nevertheless, flights filled with Covid-19 carriers continue. There have been eight such flights this week alone, according to data collected by Jake Johnston at the Center for Economic and Policy Research—and a total of 98 flights since March 15, with destinations in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Brazil, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Jamaica.”

ICE Attempted to Deport a 14-Year Old Girl From a New York Shelter, Despite the Pandemic
Mazin Sidahmed, Documented, May 13, 2020
“On Monday night an ICE agent appeared at the shelter where Jenny, who asked that we not use her real name for fear of reprisal, was staying and attempted to remove her. She declined to speak with the agent without her attorney present. The agents had a baggage tag ready for her departure. According to her attorneys, her mother is in Mexico and her father is dead. She has no-one to take care of her if she is sent back to Honduras.”

El Salvador

El Salvador’s president extends lockdown, crimping law allowing restart of economy
Nelson Renteria, Reuters, May 19, 2020
“El Salvador’s government on Tuesday extended a strict lockdown until June 6, after President Nayib Bukele threatened to veto a law passed by Congress aimed at accelerating the reopening of the country’s economy prior to that date.”

El Salvador entre países con menor acceso a la información en pandemia 
Gabriella Villarroel, El Diario, 19 de mayo de 2020
“La Asamblea Legislativa aprobó el pasado 14 de marzo el Estado de Emergencia Nacional por COVID-19, que incluyó una suspensión de los plazos procesales y administrativos. Esto provocó que unas 218 instituciones paralizaran la entrega de información y solo 145 actualizaran sus protales web con información oficiosa, de un total de 363 instituciones”.

Presentan denuncia colectiva ante CIDH por detenciones durante la cuarentena
Carlos Martínez, El Faro, 19 de Mayo de 2020
“La Sala de lo Constitucional ha prevenido al Gobierno, en reiteradas ocasiones, de que las detenciones por violar la cuarentena son inconstitucionales, tal como lo hizo el 26 de marzo, el 8 de abril y el 24 de abril. Sin embargo, el presidente de la República, Nayib Bukele, ha sido también muy contundente al responder que no obedecerá el mandato del máximo tribunal constitucional del país, a cuyos magistrados redujo en uno de sus tuits a cinco personas ‘con tinta y sellos.’”

El Salvador’s president proposes re-opening of economy from June 6
Nelson Renteria, Reuters, May 18, 2020
“Bukele said he would propose the economy reboot plan to Congress on Tuesday, on the condition that it would follow a strict two-week lockdown.”

El Salvador quarantine centers become points of contagion
Marcos Aleman, Christopher Sherman, Associated Press, May 17, 2020
“An overwhelming majority of Salvadorans approve of Bukele’s performance, but human rights advocates complain the 38-year-old leader has ignored the country’s constitution and rulings by its Supreme Court. At the heart of the controversy are ‘containment centers’ where thousands of Salvadorans have been detained for more than a month at a time without judicial review, some swept off the street as they went to buy food for their families.”

Salvadoran president declares emergency without OK from congress, sparking controversy
Nelson Renteria, Reuters, May 17, 2020
“The emergency declaration, which will remain in force over the next 30 days, extends the suspension of classes, restrictions on movement in areas affected by the pandemic and bans on gatherings of large groups. It also authorizes additional government spending during the emergency. Lawmakers and civil society groups urged an investigation to determine whether Bukele had exceeded his powers.”

Bukele se salta a la Asamblea y prorroga por decreto el estado de emergencia
María Luz Nóches, El Faro, 17 de mayo de 2020
“El pulso recuerda al que se dió a inicios de febrero pasado, cuando la Asamblea sesionó de emergencia un sábado en busca de un acuerdo para autorizar al Ejecutivo a negociar un préstamo que financiara su estrategia de seguridad. Al no lograrlo, programó una nueva sesión plenaria para el lunes 10, pero el presidente Bukele quiso forzarla a reunirse el domingo 9 y llegó a entrar al Congreso con militares y amenazar con disolverlo en una demostración de fuerza y de intimidación al poder Legislativo que recibió unánime condena internacional.”

Coronavirus May Be Providing Cover for Police Abuses in El Salvador
Parker Asmann, InSight Crime, May 14, 2020
“Police in El Salvador have come under fire after the body of an alleged gang member was found beaten and handcuffed despite family being told he died of coronavirus, underscoring the potential consequences of the president authorizing lethal force against the country’s street gangs during the pandemic.”

Gobierno incumple compromiso de reportar a la Asamblea los gastos de emergencia
Jimmy Alvarado, El Faro, 11 de mayo de 2020
“Documentos entregados por el Ejecutivo a la Asamblea reflejan que Salud ha gastado al menos 18 millones de dólares en este tipo de insumos, pero no detallan el número de unidades adquiridas ni el precio unitario de cada producto. La falta de documentos de respaldo (contratos o detalles de los presupuestos que permitan comparar los precios de cada uno de los bienes adquiridos con los precios de mercado) es una característica de todos los informes que el Ejecutivo ha entregado hasta ahora al Legislativo.”


Guatemala president fumes over infected deportees from US
Sonia Perez, Associated Press, May 21, 2020
“Giammattei is the first of the region’s leaders to speak out against the U.S. policy that has sent thousands of deportees back to their countries since the pandemic began. Guatemala has confirmed 119 deportees arrived with COVID-19 from the United States. The country has suspended the deportation flights on several occasions after infected passengers were detected, but resumed them after assurances from U.S. authorities.”

Guatemalan Deportees from US Face Coronavirus Stigma, Threats and Violence
Megan Janetsky, Voice of America, May 19, 2020
“Across Latin America – in Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia, Haiti – people on U.S. deportation flights continue to test positive for coronavirus…The rising numbers have brought a growing wave of stigma, threats and violence against not just migrants, but the aid providers who are protecting them. Many returning migrants have even been forced out of the very communities they left to economically support.”

Redirecting Asylum-Seekers From U.S. to Guatemala Was a Cruel Farce, Report Finds
Cora Currier, The Intercept, May 19, 2020
“Last November, the United States began sending Salvadoran and Honduran asylum-seekers to Guatemala, telling them, in effect, to try their luck there. The transfers were conducted under an agreement with Guatemala, one of a series of deals with Central American countries, and one which promoted the idea that Guatemala is a “safe third country” for people fleeing violence — even though its asylum program barely functions and many Guatemalans are themselves heading north to escape violence, corruption, and persecution.”


Honduras extends blanket curfew again to halt spread of coronavirus
Gustavo Palencia, Raju Gopalakrishnan, Reuters, May 17, 2020
“Honduras on Sunday extended its blanket curfew for a week, a key measure in its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The curfew, first imposed in mid-March, has been extended eight times as the government attempts to avoid overwhelming the health system, which struggles to meet the needs of the country’s 9.2 million people even in normal times.”

Pandemia incrementa desplazamiento y migración de familias hondureñas
Radio Progreso, 18 de mayo de 2020
“El impacto de esta pandemia ya se está viviendo. Por ejemplo, la pérdida de empleos y de oportunidades de generación de medios de vida de las personas. Uno de los perfiles que hemos empezado a atender en el marco de la emergencia,  son las personas que ya habían sido reubicadas internamente, que ya se habían desplazado y que habían alcanzado cierta estabilidad económica para poder valerse por sí mismos.”

Ejecutivo ignora corrupción y sostiene que gastó más de tres mil millones por emergencia
Confidencial HN, 17 de mayo de 2020
“Hasta el momento, la administración nacionalista no ha dado una explicación fehaciente sobre los actos irregulares cometidos por varios funcionarios, entre ellos, el director de Investh, Marco Bográn, acerca de la compra de hospitales móviles a la empresa turca Elmed Medical Systems por más de mil millones de lempiras.”


Despite the Coronavirus, Mexican Women Are Fighting Femicide
Ann Deslandes, Foreign Policy, May 20, 2020
“In the first month of coronavirus quarantine starting in March, the national network of women’s shelters reported an 80 percent increase in calls seeking help for gender-based violence. Forty-four percent of the calls were from the capital region, where stay-at-home and social distancing measures are scheduled to be in place until May 30. As per some media and activist estimates, 209 women have been killed as stay-at-home measures were announced, with at least 163 of these registered as femicides, or crimes in which the woman was killed because of her gender.”

Mexico: coronavirus puts sudden stop to search for thousands missing
Madeleine Wattenbarger, Tom Phillips, The Guardian, May 19, 2020
“‘As long as we can’t go out and search, the authorities should still be doing it,’ Peña Zamudio said. In an open letter the Movimiento por Nuestros Desaparecidos en México, a nationwide coalition of the families of disappearance victims, announced its members were temporarily suspending their expeditions.”

International agency, local officials set up hotel for migrants in Juarez
Julian Resendiz, Border Report, May 19, 2020
“U.S. authorities have sent more than 20,000 Central American and other migrants to Juarez on the MPP program since last year, in addition to thousands of Mexicans who are routinely deported. Cabada said the city has provided services to newcomers at its own expense since the migrant surge began in late 2018. And since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the border, he says migrants have been provided facemasks, hand wash, access to telephones and computers and offered half-price bus tickets to return to their place of origin. He says many migrants, particularly Mexicans, have accepted the bus tickets lately.”

U.S. Enforcement

US Indefinitely Extends Heightened Border Enforcement
Ben Fox, Associated Press, May 20, 2020
“President Donald Trump’s administration issued the initial 30-day order in March, and it was extended for another month in April. The new version notably has no fixed end date, though it says the CDC will review public health data every 30 days to ensure it is still necessary.”

Faced with a choice, migrant parents in ICE detention refuse to separate from children
Julia Ainsley, NBC News, May 18, 2020
“Late last week, ICE officers presented parents with the option of separating from their children or remaining together in detention indefinitely. A copy of the form presented to the parents was obtained by NBC News. Lawyers representing the immigrant families said that ICE would more easily be able to deport adults separated from their children and that the parents feared they would not be reunited with their children if they were separated.”

Deportaciones en avión hasta Ciudad de México: la nueva medida de la Patrulla Fronteriza en la pandemia
Isaias Alvarado, Univisión, May 20, 2020
La Patrulla Fronteriza comenzó este martes a deportar a mexicanos detenidos tratando de cruzar ilegalmente hacia California en vuelos que llegan hasta la Ciudad de México, que ahora es el epicentro de los contagios del coronavirus en ese país y que está a 1,700 millas de distancia de la frontera. Antes los agentes federales dejaban a los indocumentados en la entrada de la ciudad de Tijuana”.

The US Agency In Charge Of The Immigration System Says It’s Facing A Financial Disaster Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic
Hamed Alaziz, Buzzfeed News, May 19, 2020
“But on Friday, Joseph Edlow, the acting head of USCIS, signaled in an email sent to staff that the coronavirus pandemic had put the agency in a financial crisis that could be disastrous: USCIS “will exhaust its funding this summer, and without congressional intervention, we risk not being able to make payroll and will have to take drastic actions to keep the agency afloat,” he wrote. The agency was requesting $1.2 billion from Congress to keep it going after seeing a serious drop in applications and fees since March.”

Border Patrol apprehensions of undocumented immigrants fell by almost half from March to April
James Lemon, Newsweek, May 19, 2020
“In March, Trump also issued a controversial executive order which gave border agents the greenlight to quickly removed undocumented migrants crossing the border. The president’s order cited health concerns, but immigrant advocates argued that the White House was using the pandemic to push forward hard-line immigration policies.”

Fearing Trump’s green card policy, families with immigrants may opt out of coronavirus care
Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News, May 18, 2020
“Families who have at least one member without a green card are fearful of using public benefit programs because of a Trump immigration policy, creating concern they may also avoid publicly available coronavirus testing and treatment.The Urban Institute study found persistence of the chilling effect caused by the Trump administration’s public charge rule that expands the criteria for denying legal permanent residence applications based on past or potential use of government benefit programs.”

Under Trump policy, U.S. plays custody keep-away with migrant children
Molly O’Toole, The Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2020
“Under the cover of the coronavirus, Trump officials are targeting unaccompanied migrant minors for deportation even as lawyers fight to force their release to relatives in the U.S. who’ve applied to sponsor them, advocates across the country say.

Fate of DACA still uncertain
Aline Barros, Voice of America, May 15, 2020
“The fate of about 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children is in the hands of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices. The court is expected to decide in the coming weeks if the Trump administration has the right to end a program that allows these immigrants to work in the U.S. free from the threat of deportation.”

Family separation is back for migrants at the U.S./Mexican border, say advocates
Julia Ainsley, NBC News, May 15, 2020
“Several immigrant rights organizations are outraged by a new choice U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is presenting to migrant parents: Separate from your child or stay together in detention indefinitely. Starting on Thursday, the groups claim, ICE began distributing a form in all three of its family detention centers that would allow parents to apply for their minor children to be released.”

Mexican Enforcement

Migrar en pandemia: Covid-19 no frena a centroamericanos
Yahoo Noticias, 21 de mayo de 2020
“Algunos esperan en albergues y otros en casas donde han conseguido empleo; todos están en la incertidumbre. Lo están porque todos los trámites están suspendidos, las autoridades migratorias y la Comar sí están recibiendo solicitudes de refugio, pero no están resolviendo la entrega de la tarjeta que les permita permanecer en el país de forma temporal o permanente.”

Crisis por COVID-19 ha agravado condiciones de migrantes en México
EFE Noticias, 20 de mayo de 2020
“La emergencia sanitaria, continuó, ha provocado también que se suspendan trámites por lo que hay 60 mil migrantes en la frontera norte, lo que hace que haya sobresaturación en las estaciones migratorias y no hay ‘capacidad para tantas personas’.”

Root Causes 

Salvadorans Hoist White Flags to Mark Food Shortages
Latin American Herald Tribune, May 21, 2020
“The government of the Central American country is preparing 2.7 million food packages to distribute to households. According to data from the International Labor Organization, more than 1.3 million jobs in El Salvador, which account for 46.6% of the country’s workforce, are “at risk” due to the pandemic.”

La situación de las personas LGBTI en Honduras es de exclusión y de ataques de violencia
Bersely García, Pasos de Animal Grande, 19 de mayo de 2020
“El miembro de la Plataforma Derechos Aquí y Ahora Honduras, Kevhin Ramos, declaró a pasosdeanimalgrande.com que en el contexto del COVID-19, el cuerpo y la vida de las personas de la comunidad sigue siendo maltratado, desplazamiento y la violencia basada en género , y como forma más atroz los crímenes de odio y un ejemplo de ello fue el asesinato de Luz Clara, una mujer  trans que murió por causa de golpes con piedras, en la ciudad de la Ceiba, al Norte de Honduras en los primeros días de este mes de mayo.”

Honduran family starts new life across the country, but terror is never far
Pamela Villars, UNHCR, May 15, 2020
“In a small country such as Honduras, even fleeing does not always result in lasting safety. It takes just several hours, by car, to travel from coast to coast. With gangs spreading throughout the country, many displaced people remain vulnerable to their persecutors even after uprooting themselves from their communities and support networks. Many internally displaced people end up fleeing more than once, each time farther away from home.”

Expertos prevén ola migratoria desde Honduras post-pandemia
Proceso Digital, 15 de mayo de 2020
“‘En la historia, siempre después de una crisis aumentan los flujos migratorios lo vimos con el huracán Mitch y para los hechos político del 2009’, expresó al tiempo que acotó que es lógico pensar en una ola migratoria después de la pandemia. Recordó que las remesas han disminuido, los empleos están cerrados, lo que se traduce en menos ingresos para las familias quienes ven en la migración una salida.”

Van ocho masacres durante toque de queda
Radio Progresion, 14 de mayo de 2020
“Señaló que desde el mes de enero hasta el 11 de mayo se contabilizan un total de 14 homicidios múltiples a nivel nacional con 50 víctimas mortales de las cuales 39 son hombres y 11 mujeres.”

Actions, Alerts, and Resources 

LAWG Joint Request to the UN Special Rapporteur on Migrant Rights
Latin America Working Group, May 20, 2020
“LAWG joined the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) in presenting an urgent appeal before the United Nations’ Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, Dr. Felipe González, requesting his intervention to address the ongoing grave harm to the life and integrity of migrants and asylum-seekers at the United States’ southern border as a result of the recent change in policy requiring summary expulsions of migrants.”

Family Separation 2.0: “You aren’t going to separate me from my only child.”
Amnesty International, May 21, 2020
“The Trump administration has previously floated the idea of ‘binary choice,’ or Family Separation 2.0, in 2018 and 2019: parents in detention could separate from their children by releasing them to a sponsor or to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (“ORR”), or stay together as a family in indefinite detention while they await resolution of their asylum claim. The reported intent of this policy was to deter families from seeking safety in the United States.”

Stranded: The Impact of US Policies on Asylum Seekers
JRS USA, May 19, 2020
“Stranded: The Impact of US Policies on Asylum Seekers shares the testimonies of people who are facing the real and often heart breaking consequences of US asylum policies.”

Deportation with a Layover: Failure of Protection under the US-Guatemala Asylum Cooperative Agreement
Rachel Schmidtke, Yael Schacher, Ariana Sawyer, Refugees International, Human Rights Watch, May 19, 2020
“Guatemala does not meet the standard required in U.S. law for a ‘safe third country’—the ability to provide ‘access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection.’Guatemala’s asylum system is hamstrung by a limited legal framework that only allows high level officials to approve claims, which causes massive bottlenecks in a system that has only recently begun to function at all.”

NEW MAP: Immigrants, DACA Recipients, and TPS Holders Working in Essential Industries, By State
America’s Voice, May 18, 2020
“Last week, House Democrats passed the #HeroesAct, a stimulus bill which will help fund cities, states, and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike the stimulus bills that came before it, the Heroes Act recognizes all American workers and taxpayers, by including immigrants on the list of those who would qualify for relief.”

The Flores Settlement and Family Separation at the Border
Women’s Refugee Commission, May 2020
“WRC has developed this backgrounder to clarify how Flores relates to the practice of family detention and family separation in US immigration history. Most importantly, Flores requires neither the separation nor the detention of families, especially when both practices have been found consistently to be harmful for children.”