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Migration News Brief for April 29, 2019

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Date: Apr 29, 2019

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: lfolkerts@lawg.org.

 

Source: Public Radio International 

U.S. Enforcement

DHS draft proposal would speed deportations 
Ted Hesson, Politico, April 25, 2019 

“The change could speed up the deportation of recent arrivals at the border and reduce the load on federal immigration courts, which have grappled with a soaring case backlog.”

‘I’m in danger’: Migrant parents face violence in Mexico under new Trump policy 
Robert Moore, Texas Monthly, April 25, 2019 

“On April 17 and 18, at court hearings in El Paso for 42 asylum seekers, including 15 children, the major concerns of critics of the “remain in Mexico” plan unfolded: migrants faced violence in Mexico and had little or no access to attorneys; the already limited humanitarian relief network was strained beyond capacity.”

Recently feed Honduran transgender woman detained again by ICE 
Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, April 26, 2019

“A Honduran transgender asylum seeker who was released last week after a year incarcerated in immigration centers has been re-detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice).”

DHS says over 1,600 migrants sent to Mexico to await asylum processing 
Rachel Frazin, The Hill, April 26, 2019 

“The migrants were sent under the administration’s so-called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, which requires some asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico as their claims are processed. The policy aims to reduce the number of people entering the U.S. through the border with Mexico.”

Alleged Leader of Border Militia Facing Federal Firearms Charges in New Mexico
Richard Gonzales, NPR, April 22, 2019 

“The alleged leader of an armed militia group that has intercepted and detained migrant families along the southern border in New Mexico was charged with federal firearms offenses on Monday.”

Trump White House blocks senior aide from testifying on immigration policy 
Katherine Faulders, ABC News, April 25, 2019

“Cummings requested that Miller come before the committee to explain the administration’s’ handling of the border crisis and recent reports about a plan to transfer immigrants detained at the southern border onto the streets of “sanctuary cities” – a plan President Donald Trump confirmed.”

Justice Department Indicts Judge Who Helped Immigrants Evade ICE in Her Courthouse 
Mark Joseph Stern, Slate, April 15, 2019

“The charges constitute a remarkable intrusion into the internal affairs of a state judiciary and possible retaliation against Massachusetts’ “sanctuary” policies.”

Mexican Enforcement

Comunicado al Presidente de la República sobre los hechos del pasado lunes 22 de Abril, 2019 
Latin American Working Group, April 26, 2019 

“La respuesta ante esta crisis humanitaria no es la ejecución de operativos de
detención migratoria haciendo uso ilegal de la fuerza, donde solamente se ponen en mayor riesgo la vida, la integridad, la seguridad y la protección de miles de personas desplazadas e instalan un mensaje de criminalización hacia las mismas en las propias comunidades”.

Over 1,000 migrants break out of southern Mexico detention center
Jose Torres, Reuters, April 26, 2019 

“Mexico has returned 15,000 migrants in the past 30 days, officials have said, amid pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to stem the flow of people north.”

Caravanas migrantes: que desató el aumento migratorio hacia México?
Manu Ureste, Animal Politico, April 25, 2019

“Los migrantes van en grupo porque, al menos en las caravanas de octubre y noviembre, hubo tolerancia de las autoridades para dejar transitar a los migrantes. Incluso, hubo iniciativas puntuales de ofrecer transporte en autobuses para que los migrantes transitaran más rápido hacia Tijuana, en la frontera norte”.

Migrant anxious after Mexican authorities raid caravan
Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, April 23, 2019 

“As migrants gathered under spots of shade in the burning heat outside the city of Pijijiapan, federal police and agents arrived in patrol trucks and vans and forcibly wrestled women, men, and children into the vehicles.”

Mexican police detain hundreds of Central American migrants
Sonia Perez, AP News, April 23, 2019

“Mexico welcomed the first caravans last year, but the reception has gotten colder since tens of thousands of migrants overwhelmed U.S. border crossings, causing delays at the border and anger among Mexican residents.”

Redada antimigrante desarticula caravana en Pijijiapan 
Isain Mandujano, Chiapas Paralelo, April 22, 2019 

“Los agentes corretearon a los migrantes, principalmente capturaron a mujeres y niños, quienes fueron subidos entre llantos a los autobuses y las camionetas del INAMI. Muchos pudieron correr a los matorrales y escapar de los agentes federales”.

Mexican organizations denounce efforts to criminalize migrants and those who assist them
Alianza Americas, April 22, 2019 

“Rising xenophobia – particularly against Central Americans – has been driven by news reports, communications, and advisories distributed by local media, private businesses, and municipal governments.”

Mexican Town Once Welcomed Migrants. Now It Blames Mexico’s President for Them
Paulina Villegas and Kirk Semple, The New York Times, April 20, 2019 

“The resentment is heated enough that local officials in the nearby town of Huixtla tried to block about 2,000 migrants from entering town in recent days, declaring an emergency and telling residents to close their shops and remain inside their homes.”

Gang violence and human rights violations drive migrants to seek protection in Mexico 
Cristobal Ramon, Bipartisan Policy Center, April 22, 2019 

“A review of COMAR data finds that generalized violence, which includes violent incidents related to extortion, recruitment, and threats from gangs, was the primary reason individuals applied for refugee status in Mexico.”

Global migrants’ journey stalls in southern Mexico
Mark Stevenson, AP news, April 28, 2019 

“Some say they’ve given up hope of reaching the United States and just want papers that will allow them to work in Mexico — but northern Mexico, where wages are higher. The government is not prepared to grant that, so it keeps them here, waiting. Perhaps for an asylum ruling, perhaps residency status.”

One year after notebook appears in Tijuana, confusion and anxiety continue in asylum line
Kate Morrissey, San Diego Union-Tribune, April 28, 2019 

“Yards from their intended destination, after long and dangerous journeys to the border, they find themselves stuck in a de facto system not officially recognized by either the United States or Mexico, their names jotted down in a notebook that controls when they are supposed to cross.”

Pope Francis donates $500,000 to help Central American migrants in Mexico
Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN, April 27, 2019

“The money will be used for housing, food, and necessities for the Central American migrants. The funds will be split among 27 projects in 16 Mexican dioceses and religious congregations, according to the release.”

Root Causes

UN: Food crisis in Central America Dry Corridor is Invisible 
Latin America Herald Tribune 

“The majority of the people affected are small farmers who live far from urban centers in communities with few services and public infrastructure and who are focused on subsistence agriculture, meaning that they eat and live on what little they grow, mainly corn and beans.”

US drug probe lands Guatemala president in hot water
Parker Asmann, InSight Crime, April 25, 2019 

“Morales claimed in an April 23 that the helicopter was contracted by his government with a company called Maya World Tours, which brokers helicopter flights. However, a legal representative for Maya World Tours said that the company never provided the use of Estrada’s helicopter to Morales, and that the president used the aircraft through some other arrangement.”

In El Salvador, climate change means less coffee, and more migrants 
Emily Green, Public Radio International, April 24, 2019 

“The decline of El Salvador’s coffee industry goes back decades and is the result of a lot of problems: the low price of coffee on the market, lack of investment in the farms and agricultural pests. But farmers, agricultural experts, and environmental academics also point to another factor compounding the challenges: climate change.”

Trump’s Central American Mistake
Shannon K. O’Neil, Council on Foreign Relations, April 4, 2019 

“Trump’s bullying tactics will not lower the number of women, children and men leaving El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras for the United States. If anything, the aid pullback will undermine the tenuous ability of these nations to mitigate these migratory flows.”

A Turn Away From Mexico’s Environment? President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s early months in office stir concern over his campaign promises to focus on climate change and worker rights 
Oscar Lopez, US News & World Report, April 22, 2019 

“Just over a week after taking office, Lopez Obrador announced the construction of a new oil refinery in his home state of Tabasco, which is set to cost $8 billion, produce 400,000 barrels of gasoline per day, and, according to the president, generate as many as 35,000 jobs. In January, his administration canceled a clean energy auction for companies to bid on the rights to generate wind and solar power. Meanwhile, his 2019 budget would see funding for the environment ministry slashed by a third.”

Guatebala
Suchit Chavez, Carlos Arrazola, Dennys Mejia, Simone Dalmasso, Andrea Godinez, Jose Eduardo, Plaza Publica 

“A los guatemaltecos les gustan las armas, es un hecho; pero a pesar de ello, el país es uno de los más inseguros de la región. Las armas en manos de los ciudadanos no han logrado detener los homicidios ni la criminalidad. Por el contrario, estas incrementan y estimulan”.

Police fire tear gas at Honduras protesters
Gulf News, April 27, 2019 

“Around 10,000 people in Tegucigalpa lit torches and chanted “JOH out”, referring to President Juan Orlando Hernandez, before police moved in, according to witnesses.”

Lamentan que más de un millón de niños hondureños no tengan acceso a educación
Proceso Digital, April 27, 2019 

“Más de un millón de niños y niñas de Honduras están fuera del sistema educativo nacional, entre los 5 y 17 años, cuando deberían estar en las aulas de clases”.

Actions, Reports, and Resources

TPS National Security Foreign Policy letter
Latin America Working Group, April 26, 2019 

“Organized criminal groups not only perpetuate much of this violence, but they also assert control over the large territories in which they operate. One way they gain revenue is through extorting local populations. Organized criminal groups that extort local populations in Mexico have become increasingly prevalent and sophisticated.”

Practice advisory: asylum seekers stranded in Mexico because of the Trump administration’s restrictive policies: firm resettlement considerations 
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., April 24, 2019 

“Under Remain in Mexico, when an asylum seeker presents himself or herself at an affected port of entry, CBP issues a Notice to Appear, placing the asylum seeker into removal proceedings under section 240 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) with a future hearing date.”

Report | A Better Way: Community-Based Programming as an Alternative to Immigrant Incarceration
David Secor, Heidi Altman, and Tara Tidwell Cullen, National Immigrant Justice Center, April 22, 2019

“Evidence-based studies consistently prove community-based programs to be safer than a detention-based approach, vastly less expensive, and far more effective at ensuring compliance with government-imposed requirements. Most importantly, community-based alternatives offer a framework for refugee and migrant processing that is welcoming and allows families and communities to remain together.”
*The Central America/Mexico Migration News Brief is a selection of relevant news articles, all of which do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Latin America Working Group.

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