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Migration News Brief for April 29, 2022

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Welcome to LAWG’s Migration News Brief, 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.

US ENFORCEMENT

Can Biden Undo Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” Policy That Forced Asylum Seekers into Dangerous Conditions?
Democracy Now, April 27, 2022
“The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on whether to strike down the Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, which forced tens of thousands of non-Mexican asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases played out in U.S. courts, often in extremely dangerous conditions. Biden suspended the policy, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, shortly after taking office, but Texas and Missouri challenged the move.”

Federal judge halts preparations for end of U.S. asylum limit
Kevin McGill, The Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2022
“A federal judge on Wednesday ordered a two-week halt in the phasing out of pandemic-related restrictions on seeking asylum and raised doubts about the Biden administration’s plan to fully lift those restrictions on May 23.”

Immigration advocates warn of midterm risks for Democrats if Title 42 isn’t lifted
Deepa Shivram, National Public Radio, April 27, 2022
“After weeks of calls from Democrats in Congress for the White House to produce a more detailed plan for when it lifts Title 42 next month, the Department of Homeland Security released additional details Tuesday afternoon.”

Supreme Court hears case over ending “Remain in Mexico” rule for asylum-seekers
Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, April 26, 2022
“The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard oral arguments in a case that could determine whether the Biden administration can terminate the so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy, a rule first implemented under former President Donald Trump that requires migrants arriving at the southern border to wait outside the U.S. for their asylum hearings.”

Groups Say Congress Must ‘Fiercely Reject’ Cruel Attack on Asylum-Seekers
Brett Wilkins, Common Dreams, April 26, 2022
“Hundreds of faith-based and civil rights groups and leaders across the United States on Tuesday called on members of Congress to ‘fiercely reject’ a ‘dangerous’ bill that would codify a rule used to deport more than 1.7 million asylum-seekers under pretext of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

DHS outlines plan to secure border after Title 42 is lifted
Oriana Gonzalez and Alayna Treene, Axios, April 26, 2022
“A federal court on Monday temporarily blocked the Biden administration from removing the order after several states filed a lawsuit to keep it in place, arguing that revoking it would ‘result in an unprecedented crisis at the United States southern border.’”

Rep. Garcia: Biden, Democrats Must End Title 42 Now
Representative Jesús “Chuy” García, Latino Rebels, April 25, 2022
“The Biden administration should honor its commitment to immediately end Title 42 restrictions, which were imposed by former President Donald Trump to deny asylum seekers their basic, protected rights. It would be a mistake for Democrats to shy away from dismantling this cruel plank of Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.”

The Battle Over ‘Remain in Mexico’ Shows How U.S. Immigration Policy Has Reached ‘Peak Confusion’
Madeleine Carlisle, TIME, April 25, 2022
“O​​n April 26, the Biden Administration will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court that it has the authority to end a controversial Trump-era policy that requires migrants seeking asylum in the United States to wait in Mexico while their claims are reviewed—even as it has signaled a possible increase of the use of that same policy in the interim.”

Border migrants injured after high-speed Texas police chase ends in crash
Ramon Antonio Vargas, The Guardian, April 24, 2022
“Sixteen people – most of whom were trying to enter the US without permission – were injured when their pickup truck crashed while being chased at high speeds by Texas police, according to authorities.”

Cuba and US take tentative step with talks on migration
Ben Fox, AP News, April 23, 2022
“Cuba and the United States took a tentative step toward thawing relations and resuming joint efforts to address irregular migration, a senior Cuban official said following the highest-level talks between the two countries in four years.”

Mexican migration has changed America for the better
The Economist, April 23, 2022
“Mexican migration has changed America for the better. Pedro Morales, a 73-year-old retired farmer, sits at the table of his sparsely furnished house in Santa Rosa and flicks through faded pictures of José, one of his sons. In 1990 José, then just 19, left this small village two hours outside of Guadalajara, in the central Mexican state of Jalisco, where chickens still roam the streets. He crossed the border to the United States illegally, and has lived there ever since.”

Search continues for soldier who jumped into Rio Grande in Texas to save migrants
Phil Helsel, Yahoo News, April 23, 2022
“A search continued Saturday for an Army National Guard soldier who went missing after jumping into the Rio Grande in Texas to save two migrants the day before, officials said. The name of the soldier, assigned to Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star initiative that he said was aimed at illegal border crossings and drugs, has not been released.”

Texas sues to block Biden administration from lifting Title 42, a pandemic-era health rule used to expel migrants
Uriel Garcia, Texas Tribune, April 22, 2022
“Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Friday to halt the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from lifting Title 42, a pandemic-era health order used by federal immigration officials to expel migrants, including asylum-seekers, at the U.S.-Mexico border.”

More Cubans Immigrating to the US by Crossing From Mexico
US News, April 21, 2022
“U.S. border authorities encountered Cubans almost 32,400 times in March, according to figures released Monday. That was roughly double the number in February and five times the number in October.”

U.S., Cuba hold talks over migration for the first time in four years
Karen DeYoung and Nick Miroff, The Washington Post, April 21, 2022
“The United States and Cuba held direct migration talks Thursday for the first time in four years, as the Biden administration seeks to stop an overwhelming surge of migrants at the southern border, in which Cubans have become the second-largest group of those seeking unauthorized entry through Mexico.”

US immigration agency explores data loophole to obtain information on deportation targets
Johana Bhuiyan, The Guardian, April 20, 2022
“Over the last decade, a growing number of American cities and states have restricted the information local law enforcement departments can exchange with immigration authorities. But new documents reveal that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has tapped a network of private technology companies to skirt such sanctuary policies, facilitating access to ‘real time’ information about incarcerations and jail bookings, which enables them to pick up immigrants targeted for deportation.”

Venezuelans Flee Again, This Time to the U.S.
Jenny Carolina Gonzalez and Juan Forero, Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2022
“Weeks after hiking through a Central American jungle, José López and his wife, Lizmerly Agüero, felt they had made it when they emerged from the subway and stared up at the lights of Times Square.”

MEXICAN ENFORCEMENT

López Obrador y Biden analizarán el viernes sus planes para Centroamérica, migración y seguridad
Francesco Manetto, El País, April 28, 2022
“El presidente de México, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, y el de Estados Unidos, Joe Biden, mantendrán el viernes una reunión virtual para abordar sus planes para Centroamérica y analizar los próximos desafíos en materia de migración, seguridad, energía y cooperación económica. El encuentro, anunciado este martes por la Casa Blanca a través de un comunicado, tiene el objetivo de analizar la Cumbre de las Américas que se celebra en junio en Los Ángeles y, concretamente, preparar una estrategia común sobre cómo ‘América del norte puede liderar iniciativas prioritarias para la región’”.

México: encuentran a más de 5.500 migrantes en cuatro días
Elizabeth Plaza, CNN, 26 de abril de 2022
“Un total de 5.688 migrantes fueron encontrados en México en los últimos cuatro días, según un comunicado del Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM). El documento agrega que la mayoría estaba escondida en lugares como casas de seguridad, cajas de tráiler, remolques para ganado y compartimentos de vehículos. Todos, en condiciones de hacinamiento, sin agua ni alimentos”.

Migración y cooperación: López Obrador busca impulsar su agenda con un viaje a Centroamérica y a Cuba
Francesco Manetto, El País, April 25, 2022
“Andrés Manuel López Obrador se dispone a salir de México por cuarta vez desde el comienzo de su mandato. Y por primera vez no lo hará para volar a Estados Unidos. El presidente iniciará la próxima semana una gira de trabajo por cuatro países de Centroamérica que culminará con un desvío y una visita oficial a Cuba. El viaje, que se desarrollará del 5 al 9 de mayo, supone un punto de inflexión en la iniciativa diplomática del mandatario y estará centrado en asuntos de migración, cooperación para el desarrollo e integración económica. Todos ellos ‘temas prioritarios’ para la región, según el Ejecutivo”. 

AMLO confirmed that he will meet Joe Biden in Los Angeles in June
Infobae, April 22, 2022
“President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed that he will attend the Summit of the Americas in June in Los Angeles to respond to the invitation of his counterpart Joe Biden. ‘I don’t have the exact date yet. I know it’s going to be held in Los Angeles, California, in June and I’m going to attend,’ said the Mexican executive when questioned whether he would have a personal meeting with the US president.”

ROOT CAUSES

The Exile of Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption Efforts
Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, April 29, 2022
“A group of prosecutors and judges who investigated the country’s most powerful officials have been forced to flee to Washington, D.C.”

Disappeared: a daughter’s 40-year search for her father, taken by Guatemala’s military dictatorship
Sam Jones, The Guardian, April 27, 2022
“Four decades after he vanished, his family has filed a case with the UN human rights committee, a panel of independent experts that monitors countries’ compliance with the international covenant on civil and political rights. It is the first time the committee has been asked to look into a case of enforced disappearance in Guatemala.”

Inequality fuels COVID death rates across Latin America: Report
Charis McGowan, Al Jazeera, April 27, 2022
“Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean is the root cause of the region’s high COVID-19 mortality rates, a joint report by Amnesty International and the Center for Economic and Social Rights has found. Examining statistics from the start of the pandemic in 2020 until February of this year, the report released on Wednesday revealed that more than 1.6 million people in Latin America died from COVID-19-related causes.”

A Woman’s Haunting Disappearance Sparks Outrage in Mexico Over Gender Violence
Oscar Lopez, The New York Times, April 27, 2022
“In just the last month, at least nine other women and girls have gone missing in the greater metropolitan area of Monterrey, one of the wealthiest cities in the country. Nationwide, more than 24,000 women are missing, according to government figures, and last year, roughly 2,800 women were reported missing, an increase of nearly 40 percent compared with 2017.”

Six of 10 Salvadorans Quit Using the Chivo Wallet After Getting the Bitcoin Incentive, Study Finds
Andrés Engler, Yahoo Finance, April 27, 2022
“Only four of 10 Salvadorans who downloaded the state-run bitcoin (BTC) wallet Chivo said they still use it after obtaining the $30 bitcoin incentive dangled by President Nayib Bukele’s government, according to a report published by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research.”

Will the State of Exception Be the New Normal?
El Faro, April 26, 2022
“On Sunday, the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly voted to extend for 30 days the state of exception that has curbed civil liberties in response to a three-day spike in homicides one month ago. First set to expire on Wednesday, it will now continue until May 27.”

El Salvador anti-gang measures ‘a success’ as 17,000 held
BBC News, April 26, 2022
“El Salvador’s defence minister has praised the extension by Congress of emergency measures which he says are having a ‘positive’ effect in the battle against rampant gang violence. René Merino said that more than 17,000 suspected gang members had been arrested since the state of emergency was declared a month ago.”

Solicitan TPS para hondureños desplazados por huracanes que migraron a EE UU
Viena Hernández, Criterio.hn, 26 de abril del 2022
“El gobierno de Honduras que ha mantenido fuertes acercamientos con diplomáticos del gobierno de Joe Biden, ha solicitado un nuevo Estatus de Protección Temporal (TPS) al gobierno de Estados Unidos. Cabe mencionar que la protección, apoyo, pero también la creación de oportunidades y de condiciones para evitar las caravanas de migrantes, fue una de las promesas que expuso en su discurso de toma de posesión del 27 de enero la presidenta Xiomara Castro”.

¿Cumplirá Xiomara Castro con las demandas de la comunidad LGTBIQ+?
Ariel Torres, Criterio.hn, 26 de abril de 2022
“El 10 de enero de 2022, Thalía Rodríguez, una reconocida defensora de los derechos humanos de las personas trans, fue asesinada en Tegucigalpa. Su crimen puso en relieve los desafíos que tiene el gobierno de la presidenta Xiomara Castro para proteger a la comunidad de la diversidad sexual en Honduras”.

Acnur insta a Honduras a legislar para proteger a desplazados por violencia
Vanessa, Confidencial HN, 26 de abril de 2022
“Honduras debe legislar para prevenir el desplazamiento interno, un fenómeno que tiene ‘múltiples causas’ y ha forzado a 250.000 personas a abandonar sus hogares en los últimos años, a las que hay que proteger, señaló este martes la Agencia de Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (Acnur)”.

The Battle Over ‘Remain in Mexico’ Shows How U.S. Immigration Policy Has Reached ‘Peak Confusion’
Madeleine Carlisle, TIME, April 25, 2022
“O​​n April 26, the Biden Administration will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court that it has the authority to end a controversial Trump-era policy that requires migrants seeking asylum in the United States to wait in Mexico while their claims are reviewed—even as it has signaled a possible increase of the use of that same policy in the interim.”

En mayo podría llegar misión exploratoria para instalación de CICIH
Radio Progreso, 25 de abril de 2022
“La Coordinadora residente de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas en Honduras, Alice Shackelford, informó que se está definiendo la fecha para la llegada de la misión exploratoria que recomendará si se instala o no una Comisión Internacional Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad”. 

Persiste la extrema pobreza en Honduras con un cierre de 53.4 % en 2021
Confidencial HN, 25 de abril de 2022
“La pobreza en los años anteriores es una de las que más creció y siempre ha persistido” aseguró este lunes  el director del Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE), Eugenio Sosa, al especificar que la pobreza incrementó un 80 por ciento y la cifra de la extrema pobreza cerró con de 53.4 por ciento en el año 2021”.

Juan Orlando Hernández cometió fraude electoral en 2013 y 2017: Fiscalía de Nueva York
Criterio.hn, 25 de abril de 2022
“Se reafirma la verdad que el pueblo gritó en las calles y que en 2017 costó la vida de al menos 23 personas, Juan Orlando Hernández habría cometido fraude electoral, ‘incluso en conexión con las elecciones presidenciales de Honduras de 2013 y 2017’”.

On the Front Lines of the Hot Land: Mexico’s Incessant Conflict
International Crisis Group, 2022
“In December 2006, Michoacán became ground zero for the latest round of the war on drugs in Mexico. The president at the time, Felipe Calderón, sent thousands of troops to this state in central Mexico, bordering the Pacific coast, and promised swift victory. But the offensive soon started to falter, inflaming a conflict that has only grown more intractable under each of Calderón’s successors.”

El Salvador: State of emergency has created a perfect storm of human rights violations
Amnesty International, April 25, 2022
“Thirty days after El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly approved a state of emergency in the country in response to reports of rising gang-related killings, and in light of the renewal of this measure on Sunday, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International said: ‘Over the last 30 days, President Bukele’s government has trampled all over the rights of the Salvadoran people. From legal reforms that flout international standards, to mass arbitrary arrests and the ill treatment of detainees, Salvadoran authorities have created a perfect storm of human rights violations, which is now expected to continue with the extension of the emergency decree.’”

Hasta el 2023 con la ratificación de la derogatoria, desaparecerán las ZEDE
Contexto, 24 de abril de 2022
“Las Zonas de Empleo y Desarrollo Económico (ZEDE) siguen vigentes y desaparecerán en 2023 sólo cuando en la Segunda Legislatura los diputados ratifiquen el decreto de derogación de las mismas y sea publicado en el Diario Oficial La Gaceta”.

Women protest in Mexico City over killings, disapperances
AP News, April 24, 2022
“Hundreds of women marched through downtown Mexico City and its suburbs on Sunday to protest the horrifying death of an 18-year-old in the northern city of Monterrey. Protesters also marched in the rough suburb of Nezahualcoyotl, where two women were killed in the last week. The demonstrators, mainly women, carried signs reading ‘No to Harrassment’ and ‘Mexico is a mass grave.’”

As El Salvador arrests thousands, families search for the missing
Kevin Sieff, The Washington Post, April 22, 2022
“The arrests are El Salvador’s response to a rampage of killings last month, including 62 in a single day. The country’s president, Nayib Bukele, promised revenge: “a war on gangs.” On March 27, he announced a 30-day ‘Regimén de Excepción’ — a state of emergency that gave the government broad power to make arrests, suspending due process. The country’s legislature approved a 30-day extension of the emergency on Sunday.”

Hoy será presentado JOH ante la justicia de Nueva York
Radio Progreso, 22 de abril de 2022
“El expresidente Juan Orlando Hernández será presentado hoy viernes en su comparecencia inicial ante el juez magistrado Stewart  Aarón en la corte federal de Nueva York. Un tribunal federal reveló los cargos de tráfico de drogas y armas en una acusación contra Juan Orlando Hernández. Y fue mediante una conferencia de prensa en Washington, el Departamento de Justicia de los Estados Unidos oficializó la acusación por tráfico de drogas y armas contra Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado, extraditado al Estado de Nueva York”.

​​Former president of Honduras makes initial appearance in US federal court
Brian Vitagliano, CNN, April 22, 2022
“Juan Orlando Hernández, the former president of Honduras, appeared virtually for his initial US court appearance Friday on federal drug trafficking and firearms possession charges. Hernandez was extradited from Honduras and arrived in the United States on Friday morning, according to prosecutors.”

26 women and girls missing, 5 found dead in northern Mexico: “She could be my daughter”
CBS News, April 21, 2022
“Twenty-six women and girls have disappeared so far this year in a northern Mexican state bordering Texas and five others who were reported missing have been found dead, the state governor said Tuesday. Authorities and families in Nuevo Leon are frantically searching for the missing, Reuters reported, as Mexico continues to grapple with pervasive gender violence.”

Honduran Congress unanimously nixes special economic zones
Gustavo Palencia, Reuters, April 21, 2022
“Honduras’ Congress unanimously repealed a law overnight which allowed for the creation of special economic zones exempt from some national laws and taxes throughout the country, known as Zones for Employment and Economic Development (ZEDEs).”

COVID cases down in the Americas even as North America faces increase -PAHO
Gabriel Araujo and Steven Grattan, Reuters, April 20, 2022“COVID-19 cases and deaths are declining in the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday, with infections last week having dropped 2.3% and deaths falling 15.2% from the prior week.”

ACTIONS, ALERTS AND RESOURCES

The Vertical Border
Proyecto Habesha, 2022
“Millions of people across the globe are escaping food insecurity, the effects of climate change, government corruption as well as state and criminal violence. Central America, a small territory south of Mexico, is no exception to these trends. The region emerged from U.S.-sponsored civil wars, but it has not found peace.”

Pushed into the Shadows: Mexico’s Reception of Haitian Migrants
Yael Schacher and Rachel Schmidtke, Refugees International, April 28, 2022
“This report is based on interviews with 25 Haitian men and women between December 2021 and March of 2022. Refugees International conducted initial interviews in person with Haitians in Tapachula, Mexico in December 2021, and then followed up for interviews by phone with the same Haitians and some others between January and March 2022. By then, the interviewees had moved to northern Mexico or crossed the U.S. border and been expelled to Haiti by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).”

Extending Title 42 Would Escalate Dangers, Exacerbate Disorder, and Magnify Discrimination
Human Rights First, April 27, 2022
“In April 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that as of May 23, 2022, it would terminate the Title 42 order, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has for more than two years used to illegally block and expel to danger people requesting asylum at the southern U.S. border. Yet now, some members of Congress are seeking to force the administration to keep the Title 42 policy in place to deter people fleeing for their lives from attempting to seek refuge at the U.S. border—effectively abandoning the pretense that the policy was, or is, a public health measure.”

Recovering From Climate Disasters: Immigrant Day Laborers As “Second Responders”
National Day Laborer Organizing Network, April 2022
“This report examines one aspect of community preparedness: the remediation and environmental cleanup work that must be undertaken following hurricanes. More specifically, it examines the role played by immigrant day laborers—a workforce of “second responders” who take on demanding and dangerous work helping residents and business owners with debris removal; the demolition of damaged structures; and the repair and rebuilding of houses, apartment complexes, and commercial properties.”


* 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.

P.S. Do you know of someone who might be interested in receiving the Migration News Brief? Tell them to email ysanchezesparza@lawg.org!