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Migration News Brief for May 6, 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.

Cuban Migrants Arrive to U.S. in Record Numbers, on Foot, Not by Boat
Maria Abi-Habib and Eileen Sullivan, The New York Times, May 3, 2022
“Now they are coming in record numbers, but this time on foot, their flight aided by Nicaragua, which dropped visa requirements late last year for Cubans, giving them a toehold in Central America to journey overland through Mexico to the United States. American officials have accused Nicaragua’s authoritarian president, Daniel Ortega, of enacting the policy to pressure the United States to drop sanctions on his country.”

The Things They Carried: Is the Border Patrol discarding asylum seekers’ documents?
Melissa del Bosque, The Border Chronicle, May 3, 2022
“In Arizona and Texas, border residents are noticing more and more personal belongings left behind, including confidential documents, along the U.S. side of the border wall.”

Immigration reform withers as Democrats descend into border infighting
Marianne Levine, Sarah Ferris and Laura Barrón-Lopez, Politico, May 1, 2021
“There’s now “zero” chance for a comprehensive bill this Congress, one key senator said. But the party has some smaller ideas to fall back on.”

Federal Court Orders Biden Administration to Temporarily Halt Title 42 Wind Down
Gianna Borroto, Immigration Impact, April 28, 2022
“A federal court in Louisiana issued an order on Wednesday temporarily preventing the Biden administration from winding down Title 42, the controversial public health policy that allows immigration officials to rapidly expel asylum seekers and migrants from the border. The order is in effect for the next 14 days, with a hearing set for May 13 to determine the potential fate of Title 42.” 

Texas challenges Biden administration rule on asylum processing at border
Daniel Wiessner, Reuters, April 28, 2022
“Texas filed a lawsuit on Thursday claiming a new rule meant to speed up asylum processing and deportations at the U.S.-Mexico border is unlawful, in the state’s latest challenge to Biden-era immigration policies.” 

Supreme Court examines Biden’s power to set US immigration policy in ‘Remain in Mexico’ challenge
Ariane de Vogue and Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, April 26, 2022
“The Supreme Court grappled on Tuesday with whether the Biden administration can terminate a Trump-era border policy known as ‘Remain in Mexico’ in a case that will test the White House’s ability to set immigration policy. Some conservatives on the court asked tough questions of the administration and suggested sympathy for lower court opinions that went against President Joe Biden.”  

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in ‘Remain in Mexico’ Case
Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, Immigration Impact, April 26, 2022
“Over three years after the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) went into effect, the Supreme Court finally heard oral arguments in a case about the program, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. Rather than debate the legality of the program itself, Tuesday’s arguments were about a different question altogether: whether the Biden administration has the legal authority to end it.”

MEXICAN ENFORCEMENT

Mexico president to visit C.America for migration, development talks
France 24, May 5, 2022
“Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will embark Thursday on a tour of Central America and Cuba, as his country braces for increased flows of US-bound migrants from the region.”

Biden y AMLO discutieron coordinación en materia migratoria en la llamada de este viernes
Betsy Klein, CNN Español, 29 de abril de 2022
“El presidente de EE.UU., Joe Biden, habló por teléfono este viernes con el presidente de México, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, sobre una variedad de temas, incluida la forma en que los países se coordinarán para responder cuando la política de inmigración de salud pública, conocida como el Título 42, se levante el próximo mes”.

Mexico detains almost 6,000 foreign migrants in four days
Lizbeth Diaz and Kylie Madry, Yahoo News, April 25, 2022
“Mexico detained almost 6,000 foreign migrants in a four-day span, the country’s National Migration Institute (INM) said on Monday. The majority of the 5,688 migrants detained from April 21 to 24 were found in safe houses, trailers, or hidden in bus compartments or truck cabins, the INM said in a statement.”

ROOT CAUSES

How Bukele Crafted a Best-Selling Political Brand
Gabriel Labrador, El Faro, May 3, 2022
“Reaching the summit of Salvadoran politics took him ten years. Once a publicist for El Salvador’s flagship left-wing political party, Nayib Bukele became mayor of the capital city and from then on broke the rules of political correctness. Perhaps no one would have imagined that the selfie-prone bilingual boy who took the reins of the country at age 38, who promised modernity, would just two years later draw comparisons to Hugo Chávez or Daniel Ortega. In his quest for sovereignty, Bukele is about to shatter a democracy.”

OACNUDH condena el asesinato del líder indígena defensor de derechos humanos y del medio ambiente, Justo Benítez Sánchez.
Naciones Unidas Derechos Humanos Honduras, 3 de mayo de 2022
“Tegucigalpa, 3 de mayo de 2022 – La Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos en Honduras (OACNUDH) condena el asesinato del líder indígena lenca y defensor de derechos humanos y del medio ambiente Justo Benítez Sánchez. El hecho tuvo lugar el 30 de abril cuando hombres con armas de fuego le dispararon en su domicilio ubicado en la comunidad de San Isidro, municipio de San Francisco de Ojuera, departamento de Santa Bárbara.”

Reforma energética enfrenta a embajadora de EE UU y al gobierno de Xiomara Castro
Criterio.HN, 3 de mayo de 2022
“La reforma energética es crítica para el desarrollo económico. Estamos analizando la propuesta energética ​y como escrito nos preocupa el efecto que tendrá sobre la inversión extranjera y la independencia de la agencia reguladora”.

La mitad de las mujeres en Honduras ha sufrido violencia, según un estudio
Proceso Digital, 3 de mayo de 2022
“El 50,7 % de las mujeres y niñas que viven en Honduras, donde ellas representan el 51 % de la población (9,5 millones de habitantes), ha sufrido violencia física en algún momento de su vida, un 48,9 % ha sido víctima de acoso sexual y el 36,9 % ha recibido ataques físicos que han puesto en riesgo su vida”.

Coalición Anticorrupción: Urge una CICIH autónoma, independiente y claridad en su marco jurídico
Proceso Digital, 3 de mayo de 2022
“La Coalición Anticorrupción (CAC), presentó hoy un profundo análisis sobre instalación de la Comisión Internacional contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad en Honduras (CICH), donde cree que el mecanismo para que funcione eficientemente, debe ser autónomo, independiente y con un panorama en su marco jurídico que permita fortalecer la institucionalidad”.

Rights groups criticize El Salvador’s mass gang roundups
AP News, May 2, 2022
“Human rights groups on Monday criticized the massive arrests of suspected gang members in El Salvador..The roundups, begun in late March after a spike in homicides, have resulted in the arrest of over 22,000 presumed gang members.”

Clasificación de Libertad de prensa 2022: Muy grave la situación de Honduras
Dina Meza, Pasos de Animal Grande, 2 de mayo de 2022
“En el lugar 165 de libertad de prensa  figura Honduras en el año 2022, de 180 países evaluados, siendo de las cuatro naciones  en situación muy grave , según Reporteros sin Fronteras, RSF. Sigue siendo uno de los lugares  más mortíferos para el periodismo en el continente americano”. 

108 femicidios en lo que va de 2022 registran mujeres organizadas
Confidencial HN, 29 de abril de 2022
“En lo que va del 2022, los femicidios están imparables y ya se registran 108 femicidios reportó este viernes la coordinadora del Comité de Mujeres Visitación Padilla, Merly Eguigure”. 

Guatemalan peasant farmers blockade roads for 2nd straight day
EFE, April 27, 2022
“Members of a Guatemalan peasant farmers’ organization blocked more than 17 roads nationwide for the second consecutive day as part of their latest anti-government protest”.

She Promised to Empower Women. Will Honduras’s President Succeed?
Anatoly Kurmanaev and Joan Suazo, The New York Times, May 1, 2022 
“She came to power pledging to relax some of the world’s steepest restrictions on women’s reproductive rights. But months into her term, rights groups say, Honduras’s first female president, Xiomara Castro, is struggling to fulfill promises, as attempts to empower women rekindle the country’s bitter ideological divisions.”

Honduran economic zones in ‘limbo’ after government repeal
Marlon González, Miami Herald, May 1, 2022
“A plan to create special self-governing zones for foreign investors in Honduras has been thrown into limbo with the new government’s repeal of a law many criticized as surrendering sovereignty.”

En su casa asesinan a defensor del ambiente en San Francisco de Ojuera
Sandra Rodríguez, defensores en linea, 30 de abril, 2022
“Esta noche del sábado 30 de abril fue asesinado a causa de seis disparos el defensor del ambiente en el municipio de San Francisco de Ojuera, Santa Bárbara, Justo Benítez, de 52 años de edad. El crimen sucedió en el patio de su casa, en la comunidad San Isidro”.

FMI dispuesto a apoyar a presidenta hondureña en programa social y económico
Proceso Digital, 29 de abril, 2022
“El Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) expresó este viernes en Tegucigalpa su disposición para «apoyar» al Gobierno de Honduras que preside Xiomara Castro en la implementación de su programa social y económico.”

In El Salvador, the President Cracks Down on Civil Liberties, and Is Beloved for It
Natalie Kitroeff, The New York Times, April 28, 2022
“It has been four weeks since the shoemaker vanished from his hometown, hauled away in handcuffs by Salvadoran police.The family of the man, Heber Peña, 29, has gathered business receipts and signatures from clients to prove he makes his money honestly. They fear he is now stuck in an overcrowded prison, accused of being a gang member.” 

During the week that a woman was being sought in Nuevo León, 80 others disappeared
Mexico News Daily, April 25, 2022
“At least 80 women and girls disappeared during the 13 days that authorities were searching for Debanhi Escobar, an 18-year-old Nuevo León woman whose body was found late last week.”

ACTION, ALERTS, AND RESOURCES

NEW REPORT: ICE Air Flights April 2022 & Last 12 Months
Witness at the Border, May 5, 2022
“Flights to countries now accepting T42 flights, Honduras (31), Guatemala (27), Colombia (18), Haiti (16), El Salvador (8), and Brazil (2), made up almost 90% of all removal flights in April (page 18).”

Border Oversight: Monitoring Conduct and Accountability in U.S. Border Law Enforcement 
Adam Isaacson, WOLA, April 28, 2022
“In more than a decade of research and advocacy around security, migration, and human rights at the U.S.-Mexico border WOLA staff have learned and heard many things about our government’s border law enforcement agencies, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and its Border Patrol component.”

Who Gets Welcomed? Who Gets to Move? 
Witness at the Border, April 28, 2022
“We begin the second season of Witness Radio with a mind-blowing treat. Witness Radio Executive Producer Camilo Perez-Bustillo and I join Nandita Sharma and Reece Jones to explore the question: From the war in Ukraine to the U.S.-Mexico border and beyond: Who gets welcome? Who gets to move? We conclude with ideas about how to create a more inclusive world, one better able to confront such challenges as climate change, global pandemics, capitalist greed run amok, and the hardened, racialized borders throughout the world that have given rise to violent exclusionary tactics.” 

Addressing Sexual Violence Along the Migratory Route Through the Darién Gap and Beyond
Center for Democracy in the Americas, April 2022 
“In 2021, nearly 140,000 refugees and migrants from around the world traveled through the Darién Gap at the Colombian/Panamanian border with the objective of reaching North America. This exceeded the total number of people who attempted the same journey throughout the previous ten years, combined. In the first three months of 2022, numbers of those entering through Darién surpassed those registered for the same months in 2021.”