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Migration News Brief for March 18, 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.

U.S. ENFORCEMENT

Scoop: Biden officials fear “mass migration event” if COVID policies end
Jonathan Swan and Stef W. Kight, Axios, March 17, 2022

“U.S. intelligence officials are privately bracing for a massive influx of more than 170,000 migrants at the Mexico border if COVID-era policies that allow instant expulsions during the public health emergency are ended, sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.”

Biden administration shields Afghans in the U.S from deportation
Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, March 16, 2022

“The Biden administration will provide immigration relief to tens of thousands of Afghans in the U.S., shielding them from deportation due to the deteriorating security and economic conditions in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover last year, the Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday.”

US seeks regional approach to migration and asylum seekers
Javier Cordoba and Christopher Sherman, The Washington Post, March 15, 2022 

“Faced with the likelihood of eventually reopening its southern border to asylum seekers, the United States government is urging allies in Latin America to shore up immigration controls and expand their own asylum programs.”

Mayorkas visiting Mexico, Costa Rica to address migration
Julian Resendiz, CW 39, March 15, 2022

“Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is in Mexico Monday to address immigration and public safety issues. The visit is part of a two-day trip to Latin America with stops in Mexico City and San Jose, Costa Rica, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico told media there.”

Ukraine got it. Afghanistan and Cameroon didn’t.
Brakkton Booker, Politico, March 15, 2022

“Temporary Protected Status, as its name suggests, is a short-term action and in this case will shield an estimated 75,000 Ukrainian nationals in the U.S., as of March 1, from deportation.” 

Biden administration to send $186M to help Ukrainian refugees
Morgan Chalfant, The Hill, March 15, 2022

“The State Department announced plans Tuesday to provide $186 million in humanitarian assistance to support Ukrainian refugees displaced due to the ongoing Russian attack on Ukraine.” 

Title 42 Termination with Respect to Unaccompanied Noncitizen Children
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, March 12, 2022

“Today, following a public health reassessment, the CDC Director is terminating with respect to unaccompanied noncitizen children an Order under Title 42 suspending the right to introduce certain persons into the United States. In effect, this means that unaccompanied noncitizen children will not be expelled from the United States under CDC’s order.”

A US surveillance program tracks nearly 200,000 immigrants. What happens to their data?
Johana Bhuyian, The Guardian, March 14, 2022

“The Biden administration is proposing to expand a controversial surveillance program that tracks the whereabouts of more than 180,000 immigrants awaiting their day in court. But there is little transparency about what data is collected by the private company with an exclusive contract to run the program, or what may happen to that data in the future.”

Five U.S. Immigration Law Trends to Watch in 2022
National Law Review, March 14, 2022

“A series of significant developments in U.S. immigration law has already marked the beginning of 2022 and more can be expected.”

​​Líderes mujeres de EEUU visitan México para encontrar soluciones a problemas migratorios
El Tiempo Latino, 9 de marzo de 2022

“Una delegación de mujeres líderes de Estados Unidos (EEUU) en materia de inmigración estará de visita en México desde hoy 9 de marzo hasta el 11 de este mes, para reunirse con activistas que trabajan en temas de derechos humanos y que protegen a los inmigrantes, solicitantes de asilo, refugiados y deportados”.

MEXICAN ENFORCEMENT

Migrant arrivals at Mexican border increased in February, with 55% quickly expelled
Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, March 15, 2022

“Migrant arrivals at the southern border jumped by 7% in February from the previous month, but U.S. immigration officials also increased deportations, expelling over half of those who entered government custody using rules first issued under the Trump administration, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data published Tuesday.”

Mexican President Meets With US Homeland Security Secretary
US News, March 14, 2022

“Mexico’s president met with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas to discuss immigration Monday. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wrote that the two discussed labor and migration issues. Mexico has seen an upsurge in the number of migrants from Central America, Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela and other countries seeking to cross its territory to reach the United States.”

Mayorkas tratará migración y narcotráfico con autoridades mexicanas
Enrique Sanchez, El Excelsior, 13 de marzo de 2022

“En lo que será la cuarta ocasión que visite nuestro país en los últimos nueve meses, el secretario de Seguridad Nacional de los Estados Unidos, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, sostendrá un encuentro este lunes en la Cancillería mexicana con integrantes del gabinete de seguridad para tratar, entre otros temas, el comportamiento de los flujos migratorios desde Centroamérica en estos primeros tres meses de 2022, así como el trabajo conjunto en el combate a bandas del crimen organizado dedicadas al tráfico de migrantes, armas y droga”.

AMLO realizará gira en Centroamérica para hablar sobre temas migratorios
Diario Contrarréplica, 11 de marzo de 2022

“Hoy, en conferencia de prensa, el presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador dijo que en mayo viajará a Centroamérica y se reunirá con los presidentes de El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Belice y Cuba”.

México ha interceptado a 73.034 migrantes entre el 1 enero y el 8 de marzo
Agencia EFE, 10 de marzo de 2022

“México ha interceptado a 73.034 migrantes extranjeros con estancia irregular en territorio nacional entre el 1 de enero y el 8 de marzo de este año, informó este miércoles el Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM)”.

ROOT CAUSES 

Human rights officials call for Pegasus spyware ban at El Salvador hearing 
Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, March 17, 2022

“Senior human rights officials have repeated calls for a ban on the powerful Israeli spyware Pegasus until safeguards are in place to protect civilians from illegal hacking by governments.Calls for a moratorium on the sale and use of the military-grade spyware were made on Wednesday at a hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) into widespread unlawful surveillance using Pegasus spyware against journalists and activists in El Salvador.”

Extradition of Honduras’ former president Hernández could be decided Wednesday
Jeff Ernst, Univision, March 15, 2022

“A month after former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández was arrested on drug trafficking and related weapons charges, a hearing will be held Wednesday in the capital, Tegucigalpa, to decide whether or not he will be extradited to the United States.The hearing will be closely watched in Honduras – where members of the political elite have long evaded justice – and in the United States – where the Department of Justice awaits the arrival of one of its most high-profile targets to date.”

La fortuna que Juan Orlando Hernandez amasó junto a su familia 
La Prensa, March 15, 2022 

“En la víspera de conocer si Juan Orlando Hernandez, expresidente de Honduras (2014-2022), será extraditado hacia Estados Unidos por delitos relacionados al narcotráfico, más revelaciones expuestas en una miniserie documental, en este caso, del Consejo Nacional Anticorrupción (CNA), revivan la controversia.” 

‘I don’t feel safe’: Guatemalans denounce anti-abortion law
Jeff Abbott, Al Jazeera, March 14, 2022

“With chants of ‘this pro-life government doesn’t value our lives’, hundreds of people during the weekend converged on the Guatemalan Congress to show their indignation at a new law they say threatens the rights of women and members of the LGBTQ community.”

The Other Americans: El Salvador Charges Ex-President for Massacre of Jesuits
Jeff Abbott, The Progressive, March 14, 2022

“Alfredo Cristiani, the former president of El Salvador, has been charged by prosecutors for his role in the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests at the height of the country’s internal armed conflict. He is accused along with twelve others, primarily high-ranking members of the military.”

A Cartel Firefight Just Turned a US-Mexico Border Town Into a War Zone
Luis Chaparro, Vice, March 14, 2022

“For at least three hours early Monday, the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo, just across from Laredo, Texas, was paralyzed by a ferocious shootout between alleged members of Cartel del Noreste and the Mexican authorities.”

Cada tres horas violan una mujer en Honduras, según el CDM
Madelyn Sosa, El Tiempo, 13 de marzo de 2022
“De acuerdo con las cifras del Centro de Derechos de la Mujer (CDM), en Honduras cada tres horas una mujer es violada, sin embargo, solo se denuncia una de cada seis agresiones”.

San Pedro Sula y el Distrito Central aparecen en ranking 2021 de las 50 ciudades «más violentas del mundo»
Confidencial HN, 11 de marzo de 2022

“La mexicana Zamora, en el occidental estado de Michoacán, lidera con 196,63 homicidios por cada 100.000 habitantes el ‘Ranking 2021 de las 50 ciudades más violentas del mundo’, que presentó hoy el Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y la Justicia Penal”.

In about-face, Guatemala president calls for strict abortion law to be shelved
France 24, March 11, 2022

“Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei on Thursday called on Congress to shelve a new law ramping up prison sentences for women who choose to have an abortion, while banning both gay marriage and teaching on sexual diversity.”

Court orders arrest of ex-El Salvador President Cristiani 
Marcos Aleman, AP News, March 11, 2022

“A court in El Salvador on Friday ordered the capture of former President Alfredo Cristiani in relation to the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests and two others by soldiers. Prosecutors allege that Cristiani knew of the military’s plan to eliminate the priests and did nothing to stop them. In a statement released by Cristiani’s daughter, the former leader denied the allegations.”

¿Cómo y dónde se invertirán los US$204 millones del Plan de Desarrollo Integral para reducir la migración?
Sergio Morales Roda, Prensa Libre, 10 de marzo de 2022

“El Gobierno de Guatemala confía en que el Plan de Desarrollo Integral (PDI), elaborado por la Comisión Económica para América Latina (Cepal), reduzca la migración en un periodo de cuatro a cinco años.El reto es enorme. Ningún plan o programa implementado hasta ahora ha podido hacerlo. El último gran intento fue en 2014 con el Plan Alianza para la Prosperidad del Triángulo Norte de Centroamérica, el cual terminó siendo un fracaso”.

Feminism under Fire in Central America
El Faro, March 10, 2022 

“On Tuesday, as feminist groups marched through Guatemala City to commemorate Women’s Day, the Congress increased penalties for abortion to up to 24 years in prison in the case of doctors, outlawed same-sex marriage, and prohibited teaching about reproductive health and sexual diversity in schools.”

Mexico president says criticism over journalist killings is part of ‘soft coup’
KELO, March 10, 2022

“Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday that criticism he has faced over a string of journalist killings is part of a campaign to undermine his administration and tantamount to a “soft coup” orchestrated by media firms.”

Xiomara Castro presentará proyecto de Ley Integral Contra la Violencia de Género
Radio Cadena Voces, 9 de marzo de 2022

“La presidenta de Honduras, Xiomara Castro, presentará ante el Congreso Nacional (CN), el proyecto de Ley Integral Contra la Violencia de Género. La sesión de la Cámara Legislativa del pasado ocho de marzo tomó la atención de todo el país, al ser dirigido y desarrollado por primera vez exclusivamente por las congresistas de este Poder del Estado”.

The Dark Truth About El Salvador’s Plummeting Murder Rate
David Noreiga, Vice, March 9, 2022

“One man takes the credit for this apparent transformation: Nayib Bukele, El Salvador’s millennial president, one of the youngest and most popular heads of state in the world. Though he’s best known globally for making his tiny Central American country the first to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender (and for the trollish crypto-bro persona he’s cultivated on Twitter), within El Salvador he owes much of his popularity to the achievements he claims on public safety.”

Guatemala y Honduras unen esfuerzos para abordar asuntos sobre protección a migrante
Sala de Prensa, 8 de marzo de 2022

“Autoridades del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (Minex) se reunieron el 7 de marzo con el subsecretario de Relaciones Exteriores de Asuntos Consulares y Migratorios de Honduras, Antonio García, para abordar temas de interés común, particularmente asuntos consulares y migratorios”.

Juan Orlando Hernández: La Caida de un Expresidente Sin Ventajas, Habrá Justicia 
Consejo Nacional Anticorrupción, Marzo 2022

“La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) ha establecido que el crimen organizado no solo copta individualmente funcionarios del Estado, sino que captura instituciones y las pone al servicio de sus intereses ilícitos. Aunado a lo anterior, destaca que esta es una forma particularmente dañina de corrupción, pues involucra al aparato del Estado institucionalmente, desviándolo por completo del cumplimiento de su objetivo constitucional que es la búsqueda del bien común y la primacía de la ley (CIDH, 2019, p. 47)”.

ACTIONS, ALERTS, AND RESOURCES

Two Years of Suffering: Biden Administration Continues Use of Discredited Title 42 Order to Flout Refugee Law
Human Rights First, March 2022

“The grave human rights abuses faced by people turned away under Title 42 continue to mount every day that U.S. officials allow this policy’s use to evade refugee law. Human Rights First has now tracked at least 9,886 kidnappings, torture, rape, and other violent attacks on people blocked in or expelled to Mexico due to the Title 42 policy under the Biden administration – a new record of suffering.”

Migración de Huehuetenango en el Altiplano Occidental de Guatemala
Andrew Selee, Luis Argueta, Juan José Hurtado Paz y Paz, Migration Policy Institute, marzo de 2022

“La migración no es nueva para Huehuetenango ni para los demás departamentos que conforman el Altiplano Occidental de Guatemala, pero se ha acelerado notablemente en los últimos años y se ha centrado mucho más en Estados Unidos. En el Altiplano Occidental, una región que se encuentra entre las más pobres y rurales de Guatemala, el dinero enviado por los migrantes se ha convertido en un recurso clave para el progreso, ayudando a las familias y comunidades a mejorar su vivienda, vestimenta, nutrición, salud, educación y más.”


* 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