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Migration News Brief for July 2, 2021

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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: Jennifer Danny Aube

U.S Enforcement

Texas TPS holders worried after Supreme Court ruling
Brian Lopez, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 30, 2021
“But a recent Supreme Court decision sent shock waves to the thousands of TPS holders like Zavala who hoped to receive permanent status one day. Earlier this month, the justices ruled that those who entered the country illegally and obtained TPS are not entitled to Legal Permanent Residency simply because they have a Temporary Protected Status designation.”

The Immigrant Families Separated by Trump Are Stuck in Legal Limbo Under Biden
Felipe De La Hoz, The New Republic, June 29, 2021
“Immigration policy is perhaps the area of domestic policy where Congress has delegated the most authority to the executive, to an extent that would be ludicrous in an arena like tax or health policy. Presidents have the power to set the cap on refugee admissions for each fiscal year, to have precedential decisions issued for the whole of the immigration court system, even to bar entire nations or categories of people from entry to the country at the stroke of a pen…‘The administration, through executive authority, can bring people to the United States. They can allow admission. They can’t regularize status. They just don’t have the authority to do it.’”

Los solicitantes de asilo con asuntos cerrados bajo “Permanecer en México” pueden llegar a Estados Unidos para presentar solicitudes
Molly O’Toole, LA Times, 29 de junio de 2021
“‘Como parte de nuestro esfuerzo continuo para restaurar el procesamiento seguro, ordenado y humano en la frontera suroeste, el DHS ampliará el grupo’ de solicitantes de asilo elegibles para el procesamiento, indicó el departamento en un comunicado, incluidos aquellos ‘cuyos casos se terminaron o fueron retirados en ausencia’…Una demora de ese tipo tendría que ser impulsada por consideraciones políticas, no legales o puramente administrativas’, indicó Austin Kocher, profesor asistente de la Universidad de Syracuse. ‘Señala una pregunta más amplia: ¿la administración Biden se toma en serio el cumplimiento de sus obligaciones nacionales e internacionales con respecto a la ley de asilo?’”

Separated from her daughters in U.S., Honduran mom parents from her smartphone
Laura Gottesdiener, Kristina Cooke, and Ted Hesson, Reuters, June 28, 2021
“Maria taught Nicole how to write her numbers over video call, after the girl fell behind in math earlier this year and briefly refused to attend her online classes out of frustration. When Michelle’s menstruation arrived, she counseled Maynor on which sanitary pads and training bras to buy. Not a day goes by that the mother and daughters don’t talk, except for when the electricity goes out in Maria’s neighborhood…Aware that her absence has saddled Maynor with additional parenting responsibilities, Maria has spent hours on the phone helping Michelle cook traditional Honduran dishes like pollo guisado, a rich chicken stew, hoping to lighten her son’s domestic load.”

Texas actualiza declaración de emergencia para ir contra indocumentados
EFE, LA Times, June 28, 2021
“He also noted that officials in the counties affected by the arrival of migrants have confirmed that the conditions continue to exist, and that they now also pose an “imminent threat” in other counties in Texas. The declaration of emergency among other things will allow local and state agencies to detain the undocumented for breaking and entering, and violators will be subject to arrest and confinement.”

Becerra Says Care of Migrant Children Improving, Urges Congress to Act
Eileen Sullivan, New York Times, June 28, 2021
“Mr. Becerra first visited the Fort Bliss facility in late May, when about 4,300 children were being held there. The number has dropped significantly since then in response to concerns about the huge site, which was designed to hold up to 10,000 children. Mr. Becerra said on Monday that fewer than 800 children, all boys, were now staying there… ‘We need to fix this broken immigration system,’ Mr. Becerra said. ‘We need to be prepared to handle circumstances like this, and we need to do it in the best way possible.’”

Migrants on U.S. Border Share Journey in Self-Portraits
Adam Ferguson and Anatoly Kurmanaev, New York Times, June 28, 2021
“The life of a migrant at the border waiting for the right moment to cross into the United States is often in flux. The New York Times tried to capture a piece of this uncertain journey by giving people a chance to convey it in their own way…Some, including those The Times encountered, have tried to cross before but have been detained and deported. Now at the border, they are hoping to get a lucky break and eventually be allowed to stay.”

VP Kamala Harris met with immigration activists during El Paso visit
Anthony Jackson, El Paso Times, June 25, 2021
“Garcia said during the meeting Harris was very humble and listened to what he had to say. ‘I don’t believe that this is going to make it in terms of having a clear assessment of what is happening at the border, about the complexities of the border, about recent issues of human rights, children dying in detention, but I think we started the conversation,’ Garcia said.”

U.S. border arrests top 1 million in fiscal year 2021
Ted Hesson, Reuters, June 25, 2021
“U.S. authorities have made more than 1 million arrests of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border so far in fiscal year 2021, according to preliminary figures shared with Reuters, a tally that underscores the immigration challenges facing President Joe Biden.”

‘Heartbreaking’ conditions in US migrant child camp
Hilary Andersson, BBC News, June 23, 2021
“‘When we went to ask for medicine they gave us dirty looks, and they always laughed among themselves,’ said the boy, who preferred to remain anonymous, of some camp workers. ‘Lice has been rampant,” an employee told the BBC. ‘And one of the major shortages has been lice kits.’ Staff said a tent of around 800 girls was locked down last month because of lice…‘After a child has been here for a few days, they say, ‘you’ve got to get me out of here as soon as possible, I just can’t stand it anymore,’ he added. ‘They feel like they are in a prison.’”

US gives more asylum-seekers waiting in Mexico another shot
Maria Verza and Elliot Spagat, Associated Press, June 22, 2021
“Many are believed to have left the Mexican border region, thinking their cases were finished, raising the possibility that they will make the dangerous trek to return. The official said the administration is aware of those dangers and considering bringing people to the United States, like it is doing to reunite families that remain separated years after Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal border crossings. The move is another significant effort at redress for Trump policies that Biden administration officials and their allies say were cruel and inhumane and defenders say were extremely effective at discouraging asylum-seekers from coming to the U.S.”

Migrant children endure “despair and isolation” inside tent city in the Texas desert
Camila Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, June 22, 2021
“In a federal court declaration filed Monday, a 13-year-old Honduran girl who had been housed at Fort Bliss for 58 days as of June 6 said some teens used their identification cards to cut themselves. She said she was placed on the “suicide watch list” along with 28 other youths. ‘I have been here for a really long time. I really want to leave. It’s sad because all my friends are waiting for the staff to call my name to be released because I have been here for such a long time.’

Mexican Enforcement

Abandoned 2-Year-Old Found by Immigration Agents Near Mexico Border
Jon Jackson, Newsweek, June 29, 2021
“The boy reportedly had been traveling on a truck carrying more than 100 migrants before the vehicle pulled over after some passengers fell ill from the heat and improper air circulation in the truck. Reuters described a photo of the child, saying he was seen in the image by himself with black trash bags, packaged snacks, half-empty water bottles and discarded clothes on the ground around him. He was also described as being shirtless when he was found and was holding his face in his hands.”

El “sueño mexicano”, opción para miles de refugiados: Acnur
Emir Olivares Alonzo, La Jornada, 28 de junio de 2021
“Ciudad de México. Para miles que huyen de la violencia en sus lugares de origen, México se ha convertido en una verdadera opción de refugio. Su histórica convicción de asilo, la fortaleza de sus instituciones y de la ley en la materia, el idioma, la cultura y la apertura para obtener empleos formales, entre otros factores, permiten hablar de la posibilidad del ‘sueño mexicano’”.

No hay refugio en El Chaparral
Andy Robinson, La Vanguardia, 28 de junio de 2021
“Sale caro no pagar la ‘protección’ de los extorsionadores centroamericanos o negarse a ser pandillero si ellos quieren. ‘Mataron a varios familiares míos; y a mi hermana y a mí nos vienen persiguiendo’, dice Lorena, de 18 años, que ha viajado desde Tegucigalpa con su marido, madre y dos hermanos”.

Aumentan desapariciones en carretera mexicana a frontera
Mark Stevenson, LA Times, 26 de junio de 2021
“Hasta 50 personas se encuentran desaparecidas después de iniciar viajes de tres horas en automóvil este año entre la urbe industrial mexicana de Monterrey y la ciudad de Nuevo Laredo, fronteriza con Estados Unidos, en un tramo de carretera muy transitado que los medios de comunicación locales han bautizado como ‘la carretera de la muerte’…‘Ya no es entre ellos, los cárteles están atacando a la ciudadanía’, aseguró la activista Angélica Orozco”.

‘Doloroso’, silencio ante secuestro de migrantes | El Diario
Hérika Martínez Prado, El Diario de Juárez, 25 de junio de 2021
“‘A lo mejor es doloroso ver estos hechos que están pasando, pero es más doloroso el silencio, que ninguna voz se haya levantado para decir ‘esto está mal’. Y no se puede permitir. ¿Porque son migrantes no vamos a hacer nada?, los migrantes están sufriendo muchas cosas en Juárez. No olvidemos el pasado y no seamos indiferentes ante el dolor’, reclamó Calvillo al cuestionar el trabajo de las autoridades contra los traficantes de personas, quienes también los secuestran al llegar a la ciudad”.

Root Causes 

International Court Rules in Favor of Trans Rights in Honduras
Oscar Lopez, New York Times, June 28, 2021
“The court also directed the government to pay reparations to the family of Vicky Hernández, who was 26 when she was brutally murdered in San Pedro Sula amid a wave of transgender killings that followed a June 2009 coup in which the country’s president was ousted from power. ‘Today marks 12 years since the coup, 12 years since Vicky’s murder, but it’s a new beginning,’ said Indyra Mendoza, founder of the advocacy group Cattrachas, one of the groups that brought the case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. ‘We are extremely happy.’”

Corrupción le arrebató a Honduras $3 mil millones durante la pandemia, dice Ricardo Zúniga
Proceso Digital, 29 de junio de 2021
“Ricardo Zúniga aseveró que Honduras sufre problemas estructurales a largo plazo, como ser procesos de contratación y respuestas débiles a actos de corrupción. ‘Es por esto que la administración Biden ha insistido en fortalecer la gobernanza en Centroamérica porque la falta de transparencia y la tolerancia a la impunidad matan las oportunidades en cualquier país’, reafirmó”.

CorteIDH condena al Estado de Honduras por crimen contra mujer trans en 2009
Dina Meza, Pasos de Animales Grandes, 28 de junio de 2021
“A su vez, la Corte encontró que se vulneró el derecho a una vida libre de violencia para la víctima y sus familiares, considerando que la Convención Interamericana para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Violencia contra la Mujer se refiere también a situaciones de violencia basada en su género contra las mujeres trans.El Tribunal también encontró que las familiares de Vicky Hernández resultaron afectadas por el sufrimiento que les causó su muerte, la situación permanente de discriminación de la cual ella era objeto, y la situación de impunidad en la cual se encuentra el homicidio”. 

Al menos 388 muertes violentas LGBTI en Honduras desde el golpe de Estado de 2009 » Criterio.hn
Criterio HN, 28 de junio de 2021
“Además, la organización subraya que de las 34 sentencias condenatorias (4 de lesbianas, 17 de hombres gays y 13 de mujeres trans) ninguna contempla como móvil del crimen, el agravante genérico establecido en el Código Penal por discriminación o prejuicio basada en la orientación sexual, identidad o expresión de género de las víctimas, pese a que la organización ha entregado a lo largo de 10 años, la información individual de las personas LGBTI que han sido asesinadas y registradas en el Observatorio de Muertes Violentas de la organización”.

México admite grave problema de violencia contra las mujeres 
Prensa Latina, 28 de junio de 2021
“Siguiendo el tema del incremento de los feminicidios, Icela Rodríguez admitió que el aumento de los homicidios de mujeres se registró desde 2018 y creció en 2019 cuando se unificaron criterios penales y se reforzó un registro nacional para homologar las causales del homicidio en los 32 estados…El presidente López Obrador aceptó que hay un incremento del feminicidio en el país y que su gobierno no está de espaldas a esa realidad, sino que trabaja todos los días para definir y eliminar las causas que lo generan”.

Población trans hace hincapié en tener identidad de género
Claudia Espinoza, La Prensa Grafica, 26 de junio de 2021
“‘Muchos dirán que es simple llamar por un nombre que está dentro de un documento, pero en realidad, el nombre que existe en ese documento es lesivo a nuestra dignidad, puesto que nuestras expresiones no van acorde a ese nombre que nuestros padres nos pusieron al nacer. Es responsabilidad del Estado reconocer, cumplir y generar las condiciones para que las personas trans como sujetos de derecho y ciudadanos tengamos un nombre que nos identifique’, aseguró Portillo”.

Guatemala supera las nueve mil muertes oficiales por covid-19 en medio de clamor por vacunas
EFE, La Prensa Libre, 26 de junio de 2021
“La tasa de mortalidad a causa de la covid-19 en Guatemala ascendió a 51.2 muertes por cada cien mil personas, mientras que la incidencia de contagios acumulada subió a 1 mil 725.3 casos positivos por cada cien mil habitantes.Guatemala es la nación de Centroamérica con más muertes provocadas por el virus, seguida de Honduras y Panamá, que acumulan aproximadamente 6 mil 800 y 6 mil 500 víctimas fatales de la enfermedad, respectivamente”

Actions, Alerts, and Resources 

A Pathway to Citizenship and Economic Growth Through Budget Reconciliation
Philip Wolgin, Center for American Progress, July 1, 2021
“Over the past week, the Senate Committee on the Budget, under Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), released a draft of its $6 trillion reconciliation budget blueprint, which includes $126 billion to put immigrants on a pathway to citizenship. While the proposal is only the start of the reconciliation process, the blueprint’s inclusion of immigration is an important step toward winning congressional passage of legalization.”

Children and Families on the Border: 4 Ways You Can Help Today
FWD.US, June 30, 2021
“As a result of everything from famine, natural disaster, to violence and persecution, the number of children and families seeking asylum has increased as these families have no other legal avenues to try to come to the United States. An already insufficient asylum system was decimated by the Trump administration and created the current conditions at the border that the Biden Administration has made steps to restore and rebuild.”

Policy Brief: Reopening America – How DOS Can Reduce Delays and Eliminate Backlogs and Inefficiencies to Create a Welcoming America
AILA, June 29, 2021
“AILA provides sensible recommendations for policies and procedures that the Department of State and Biden administration can implement to overcome the hurdles created by the COVID-19 global pandemic, while reestablishing America as a welcoming nation.”

Resources for Understanding What’s Happening at the US-Mexico Border
Adam Isacson and Elyssa Pachico, WOLA, June 24, 2021
“In May, 38 percent of Border Patrol’s encounters involved people who’d previously tried to cross the border at least once in the past year. That’s likely unprecedented. As a result, while the above chart doesn’t reflect it, Border Patrol is actually apprehending fewer new people now than it was in mid-2019, during the Trump administration. This is indicative of how policies that completely shut down asylum and rapidly expel people at the border are counterproductive: they end up benefiting smugglers and creating cycles of the same people crossing, being apprehended, and sent back multiple times.”

* 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.