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Migration News Brief for March 25, 2019

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Date: Mar 25, 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: Forbes Mexico

U.S. Enforcement

SF judge challenges Trump policy requiring asylum seekers to return to Mexico 
Tatiana Sanchez, San Francisco Chronicle, March 22, 2019 

“The policy isolates asylum seekers from their attorneys and other resources in the U.S. and puts them at risk of persecution in Mexico, where an overwhelming wave of Central American migrants has caused tensions in impoverished and violent border towns.”

Airline Assured Flight Attendant She’d Be Safe to Fly to Mexico. When She Returned, ICE detained her. 
Michael Y. Park, The Points Guy, March 21, 2019 

“Immigration officials at Houston airport previously would have granted Saavedra a parole – a legal exception that would have allowed her, as a DACA recipient, to leave and reenter the country without hassle. But because of DACA’S legal limbo, it’s not clear whether parole still apply.”

Judge expresses skepticism of return-to-Mexico asylum process
Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, March 21, 2019 

“The program, which was initially rolled out in January at the San Ysidro port of entry, roughly 18 miles from the court, requires some asylum seekers to stay in Mexico to await their immigration hearings. Immigration and Customs Enforcement manages transportation to and from the border and court appearances.”

Anyone Speak K’iche or Mam? Immigration Courts Overwhelmed by Indigenous Languages 
Jennifer Medina, The New York Times, March 19, 2019

“The small number of interpreters who do have a basic grasp of indigenous languages are still often ill-equipped to help – they must explain legal terms that are difficult to comprehend in any language, and there are significant differences between regional dialects.”

Border Patrol: About 55 people in BP custody sent daily to hospitals for treatment
Sydney Hernandez, CBS 4 News, Tuesday 19, 2019

“At this rate, we’re on track to send about 31,000 people for medical treatment this year as in compared to last year where it was only about 12,000 people.”

Controversial Trump Administration Protocol for Asylum Seekers Will Begin in El Paso 
Robert Moore, Texas Monthly, March 20, 2019 

“The Border Patrol on Tuesday said El Paso sector agents have taken into custody an average of 570 migrants a day over the past month, with 90 percent occurring in the El Paso urban area rather than more remote areas of New Mexico.”

Asylum Seekers Returned From Mexico Plead to Stay in U.S
Reuters, The New York Times, March 19, 2019

“U.S. officials have said they are working with the Mexican government to ensure migrants are safe while they wait in Mexico. But some Mexican officials have warned the country’s border cities would struggle to look after asylum seekers for long periods.”

Trump keeps pushing for his border wall. But the nation’s immigration problems extend well beyond that.
Priscilla Alvarez, CNN politics, March 17, 2019 

“Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said the US is on track to apprehend approximately 900,000 people along the southern border this year, nearing levels not seen since 2006.”

More lawyers, reporter stopped and questioned at border by U.S. officials 
Julia Ainsley, NBC News, March 18, 2019 

“The government cannot use the pretext of the border to target and punish activists critical of its policies, lawyers providing legal representation, or journalists simply doing their jobs. Whether near the border or not, it’s a First Amendment violation and there’s nothing complicated about that.”

Trump’s national emergency declaration opposed by majority of Americans, polls find
Emily Guskin, Independent, March 16, 2019

“Monmouth [University] found that 65 percent of Americans disapproved of Mr. Trump declaring national emergency in order to use funding designated for the US military to build a wall along the Mexican border.”

The border is tougher to cross than ever. But there’s still one way into America
Nick Miroff and Carolyn Houten, The Washington Post, October 24, 2018

“They know the quickest path to a better life in the United States is now an administrative one – not through mountains or canyons but through the front gates of the country’s immigration bureaucracy.”

Mexican Enforcement

Piden apoyo para atender a quienes solicitan refugio 
Fabiola Martinez, Periodico La Jornada, March 20, 2019 

“El funcionario pidió apoyo financiero y operativo porque para atender esta situación el amor o el apoyo espiritual y moral no es suficiente”.

Ausencia del Estado, principal causante de la crisis de inseguridad en Tenosique: Misión Civil de Observación Red TDT
Red TDT, March 17, 2019 

” … es muy claro que los operadores de las políticas de seguridad y del sistema de justicia en todos sus niveles carecen de voluntad política para atender a las víctimas. Los testimonios describen la falta de condiciones, indolencia y trato burocrático que revictimizan e impide atender los fenómenos delictivos de manera eficaz”.

Invertir en desarrollo es una gran idea para frenar la migración
Zacarias Ramirez Tamayo, Forbes Mexico, March 20, 2019

“En el mundo, hay 258 millones de personas en situación de movilidad humana […] Los migrantes son también grandes aportantes a la economía de su país de origen y a la de su país de destino, donde cada migrante dispone, en promedio, de 85% de sus ingresos”.

Mexico launches search for 19 missing migrants 
Associated Press, The Washington Post, March 13, 2019 

“In addition to the 19 seized last week, 25 other were kidnapped last month from a different bus, for a total of 44.”

Kushner, Mexican president hold talks on migration, trade 
Channel NewsAsia, March 21, 2019

“In response to Trump’s attacks on Mexican and Central American immigrants, Lopez Obrador is proposing the US fund US$5 billion in development projects in Mexico and US$5 billion in Central America to fight poverty and violent crime in the region, the main drivers of migration.”

En Tijuana, arrestan a 7 secuestradores de migrantes 
Said Betanzos, Milenio, March 17, 2019 

“… los implicados contactaban a sus víctimas en las inmediaciones del aeropuerto de la ciudad, en donde les ofrecían llevarlos de manera ilegal a Estados Unidos por 12 mil dólares (200 mil pesos)”.

Root Causes

Chronicling the Reasons Central Americans Migrate to the United States 
David Gonzalez, New York Times, March 21, 2019 

“Violence is used as a political force — or just to settle scores — while gangs hold sway over entire neighborhoods. Police officers in San Salvador find themselves under fire — literally — or in cahoots with organized crime.”

Guatemala seeks arrest of former attorney general Thelma Aldana
BBC News, March 20, 2019 

“Ms. Aldana, 63, who is currently out of the country, is wanted on charges of embezzlement, lying and tax fraud. She has denied any wrongdoing.”

Guatemala no es país para defensores: los persiguen, criminalizan y los asesinan 
Nomada, March 22, 2019 

“A partir del 2015 la cantidad de crímenes contra defensores de derechos humanos en Guatemala comenzó a aumentar a afectando principalmente a defensores del territorio y de recursos naturales”.

Journalist shot dead in southern Honduras 
Rappler, March 19, 2019 

“Ninety-two percent of the crimes go unpunished and are not investigated.”

Balas y persecución no aplican: Mecanismo y la Fiscalía de Protección desamparan a periodista amenazada de muerte
German Reyes, Pasos de Animal Grande, March 19, 2019

“El riesgo en que viven los periodistas y defensores de los derechos humanos en Honduras es grave, pero al parecer las autoridades no toman en serio esa situación. En el caso de la periodista Elvir, el Mecanismo de Protección no fue capaz ni de notificarle por escrito la suspensión de sus medidas de protección, sino mediante una llamada telefónica”.

El Salvador considers Amnesty for those accused of crimes during its civil war 
Raymond Bonner, ProPublica, March 21, 2019 

“The move by conservatives in El Salvador’s Parliament comes as 20 former senior military officers have been charged with an array of crimes, including murder, rape, and kidnapping.”

El Salvador’s Proposed Amnesty Law for War Crimes Would Reverse Decades-Long Fight for Justice 
Washington Office on Latin America, March 22, 2019 

“El Salvador continues to struggle with issues of justice, truth, and reparation stemming from its decades-long civil war.”

Primer bimestre de 2019, el inicio de año más violento del que se tenga registro: 5,803 personas asesinadas 
Arturo Angel, Animal Politico, March 21, 2019 

“Los datos oficiales de incidencia delictiva del SESNSP confirman dos cosas: una que el actual gobierno federal ha reportado menos homicidios de los que realmente ocurren, y dos que el nivel de violencia homicida ha continuado en incremento en el arranque del actual sexenio”.

Trump is Sending Guns South as Migrants Flee North
Alex Yablon, Foreign Policy, March 8, 2019

“The violence, corruption, and abuse in Central American countries tend to be the biggest factors driving migration to the United States—a phenomenon the Trump administration has dedicated itself to curbing. Since the gun sales fuel the violence and corruption, the United States has effectively undermined its own objectives by allowing the weapons deals.”

Radio reporter Santiago Barroso shot dead in Mexico’s Sonora state 
The Committee to Protect Journalists, March 19, 2019 

“Mexico is the deadliest country for journalists in the western hemisphere, according to CPJ research. CPJ not recorded a single conviction at federal level in the cases of at least 28 journalists murdered in retaliation for their work there in the past 10 years. CPJ is investigating over 40 additional cases in that period to determine if journalism was a motive.”

Aumento a las tarifas de energía eléctrica provoca migración forzada de hondureños, advierte el Conadeh 
Criterio.hn, March 16, 2019 

“Proveer energía eléctrica a los habitantes es una responsabilidad del Estado, porque es un derecho humano que se le debe garantizar a la población, por medio de un servicio público continuo, disponible, accesible, asequible y de calidad, sin exclusión alguna”.

Diáspora hondureña ha enviado 886 millones de dólares en 2019, un 12.4% más que en2018
Proceso Digital, March 17, 2019 

“Pese a la migración masiva el envío de remesas ha mostrado una tendencia a la alza en los últimos años por lo que estas divisas representan el 18 % del Producto Interno Bruto (PIB) del país centroamericano”.

Actions, Reports, and Resources

Viaje a Tu Seguridad 
Kids In Need of Defense , February 19, 2019 
“Esta publicación busca informar a los niños sin compañía acerca del asilo y el proceso de búsqueda de asilo en los Estados Unidos, y es un recurso para aquellos que trabajan para asistirlos en sus esfuerzos de comunicar a los niños el proceso de asilo”.

Informe de la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos sobre las actividades de la oficina del Alto Comisionado en Guatemala 
Consejo de Derechos Humanos, Naciones Unidas, March 22, 2019 
“Guatemala continúa enfrentado pobreza sistemática, desigualdad, discriminación, exclusión y altos niveles de impunidad. En 2018, el país se ubicó en el puesto 127 en el índice de desarrollo humano, el segundo más bajo de la región, cayendo dos puntos debido a la falta de igualdad de género y a la desigualdad social y económica”.

Commision on Immigration 
American Bar Association, March 2019 
2019 update report: reforming the immigration system.

Interactive Map: American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 Populations and their Economic Contributions by U.S. Congressional District 
USC Dornsife, March 21, 2019 
“In total, CSII estimates up to 2.5 million immigrants could be eligible to pursue permanent legal status—and eventually citizenship—under this legislation.”

*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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