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Migration News Brief for September 16, 2022

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Date: Sep 16, 2022

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.

SPOTLIGHT

Let’s make #TPSforCentralAmerica happen!
LAWG, September 13th, 2022 

“The conditions for designating TPS for Guatemala and redesignating TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua are all there. More importantly, if these TPS designations are not made it means people will be forced to pick up their lives by the end of the year. Can you imagine the uncertainty and fear you would feel? In only four months, families will be forced to separate. No one benefits from forcing TPS beneficiaries to return to unsafe conditions.The time to act is now! ”

U.S. ENFORCEMENT

Exclusive: Biden urges Mexico to take migrants under COVID expulsion order he promised to end
Ted Hesson, Dave Graham, and Humeyra Pamuk, Reuters, September 13, 2022

“The Biden administration has publicly sought to end the COVID health order, known as Title 42. Issued in early 2020 under former Republican President Donald Trump, it allows U.S. border authorities to rapidly expel migrants to Mexico or other countries without the chance to seek U.S. asylum… Some Biden officials still view expanding expulsions as a way to deter crossers, one of the U.S. officials said, even if it contradicts the Democratic Party’s more welcoming message toward migrants.” 

Stacked shipping containers are no hindrance for migrants crossing the Arizona border
Elliot Spagat, Los Angeles Times, August 30, 2022

“Migrants continue to avoid barriers by going around them — in this case, through a five-mile gap in the Cocopah Indian Reservation near Yuma, a desert city of about 100,000 people between San Diego and Phoenix that is a major spot for illegal crossings.”

UPDATE: 9 migrants drown in Rio Grande trying to reach South Texas
Sandra Sanchez, KTLA, September 3, 2022

“Federal authorities on Saturday said nine migrants have drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into Eagle Pass, Texas, and a search continues for more who could have been swept away. In a statement sent to Border Report, U.S. Customs and Border Protection updated the number of bodies found on Saturday as a search continues. The bodies were discovered after Border Patrol agents — including BORSTAR, CBP Air and Marine and riverine agents — on Thursday helped to rescue a large group of 37 migrants who were struggling in the Rio Grande. The migrants were stranded while trying to cross the swollen river, according to CBP.”

Biden Administration Has Admitted One Million Migrants to Await Hearings
Eileen Sullivan, The New York Times, September 6, 2022

“They are among the more than one million undocumented immigrants who have been allowed into the country temporarily after crossing the border during President Biden’s tenure, part of a record-breaking cascade of irregular migration around the world. Distinct from the hundreds of thousands who have entered the country undetected during Mr. Biden’s term, many of the one million are hoping for asylum — a long shot — and will have to wait seven years on average before a decision on their case is reached because of the nation’s clogged immigration system.”

In Bannon Case, Manhattan D.A. Takes On Another Pardoned Trump Ally
Rebecca Davis O’Brien and Jonah E. Bromwich, The New York Times, September 7, 2022

“After Mr. Trump pardoned Mr. Bannon, in January 2021, the Manhattan district attorney’s office, then headed by Mr. Vance, began its own investigation.”

First on CNN: A record number of migrants have died crossing the US-Mexico border
Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, September 7, 2022

“‘Since October 1, which marks the start of the fiscal year, there have been 748 deaths,’ a Homeland Security official told CNN, with a month still left to go in the fiscal year. That’s up from 557 southwest border deaths during fiscal year 2021, the previous record. The figures don’t always capture all deaths, as other state and local agencies may recover bodies without Border Patrol involvement, meaning the number of deaths is likely higher.”

Biden admitirá 15 mil refugiados de América Latina durante el próximo año fiscal
CiberCuba, 9 de septiembre de 2022

“Según las cifras del actual año fiscal en el que había 125,000 plazas para refugiados, solo se reasentaron 20,000 personas de octubre de 2021 a agosto de 2022. No obstante, en ese recuento no se incluyen a los miles de afganos y ucranianos que han sido recibidos en ese país en el último año y que han sido admitidos bajo libertad condicional humanitaria”. 

Florida Flies 2 Planeloads of Migrants to Martha’s Vineyard
Patricia Mazzei, Remy Tumin and Eliza Fawcett, The New York Times, September 14th, 2022 

“About 50 migrants unexpectedly arrived by plane on Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday, local officials said, escalating a tactic in which Republican-led states have shipped busloads of migrants to liberal bastions like Washington and New York to protest the significant rise in illegal immigration under President Biden.”

Migrants on Martha’s Vineyard flight say they were told they were going to Boston
Eve Zuckoff, Luis Clemens, Joel Rose, Greg Allen, and Kevin Drew, NPR, September 15, 2022

“The migrants said a woman they identified as ‘Perla’ approached them outside the shelter and lured them into boarding the plane, saying they would be flown to Boston where they could get expedited work papers. She provided them with food. The migrants said Perla was still trying to recruit more passengers just hours before their flight.”

MEXICAN ENFORCEMENT

Remittances to Mexico again break record on back of strong U.S. labor market
Raul Cortes Fernandez et al, Reuters, September 1st, 2022

“Remittances to Mexico reached a record high in July as Mexican families received $5.3 billion from abroad, an annual increase of 16.5%, data from the Mexican central bank showed on Thursday…Mexicans abroad… are sending more money to help their families back home as President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador struggles to deliver on promises to energize growth.” 

Is the Mexican President Protecting the Army?
John Gibler, NACLA, September 9th, 2022

If the government proclaims its ‘commitment to the truth,’ why would the Presidential Truth Commission publish a redacted report purporting to contain cellphone screen captures identifying the intellectual authors of the mass forced disappearance before sharing that evidence with the GIEI or with the special federal prosecutor for the case, and only hours after describing the evidence to the families and their lawyers?”

Mexico putting civilian-led national guard under military control
Mary Beth Sheridan, The Washington Post, September 9, 2022

“The guard was established as a civilian-led body under a constitutional revision in 2019 that envisioned the force as eventually replacing the military in fighting crime. Yet the guard has drawn most of its members from the army and navy, and its commander is a retired general. Friday’s vote recognized what was already, in practical terms, military control of the guard. The measure was approved several days ago by the Chamber of Deputies.”

AMLO Doubles Down on Mexico’s Failed Security Policy
James Bosworth, World Politics Review, September 12, 2022

“This case is far from the only one in which Mexico’s armed forces are accused of human rights abuses, killing civilians and using the elements of state power to target peaceful activists and government opponents…all of the evidence that the armed forces and government institutions have long been involved in mass human rights abuses makes another measure announced by AMLO last month appear confusing and hypocritical: that the National Guard, a force he created as part of a campaign promise to demilitarize Mexico’s security strategy, will fall under the control of the Defense Ministry and essentially become part of the military.”

ROOT CAUSES 

How Central Americans Expanded the U.S. Labor Movement
By Elizabeth Oglesby, Yes Magazine,  September 5, 2022

“Salvadoran immigrants in California were pivotal in Justice for Janitors, a pioneering low-paid workers’ movement that inspired today’s $15 minimum wage campaign…In 1993, Guatemalan immigrants joined with Florida’s Haitian and Mexican farmworkers to form the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a community worker alliance that began in the basement of a local church in Immokalee, Florida. It used strategies common to Latin American protest movements, including street theater and socially conscious radio broadcasts, to unite Florida’s agricultural workers.”

Tuitero detenido con reglas del Régimen de Excepción es acusado de ofender al presidente Bukele
Gabriel Labrador, El Faro, 5 de septiembre de 2022

“A Rivas le dijeron en ese momento que solo iban a hacerle unas preguntas por labores de inteligencia policial. No le dijeron que quedaría arrestado. Rivas salió caminando del rancho apenas unos segundos después de que todos los demás se fueran. No iba esposado…La familia pudo comunicarse brevemente con Rivas hasta 12 horas después de su detención, pero supo con claridad dónde estaba detenido Rivas hasta la mañana del martes 23; es decir, más de 36 horas después de la detención”. 

“Captúrenlos a todos”: la verdadera historia del régimen de Bukele
Jaime Quintanilla and Daniel Valencia, La Prensa Grafica, 12 de septiembre de 2022

“Los casos analizados para esta investigación confirman un denominador común: la Fiscalía, más de 150 días después, sigue sin poder probar la pertenencia de cientos de capturados a las pandillas, y en decenas de casos la vinculación de los detenidos con esas estructuras son dichos de informantes, la ‘voz pública’, o supuestas fichas policiales de los detenidos, sobre quienes el mismo registro de detención indica que no poseían antecedentes o registros en bases de datos”. 

Part Two- The Drug War Cover-Up
Karen Spring, Honduras Now, September 8, 2022

“In Part II, host Karen Spring describes what happened in the weeks and years following the massacre including whether the DEA was held accountable, what happened in Washington, DC in the incident’s aftermath, and 10 years later, how the victims feel about the justice process or lack thereof.” 

Denuncio públicamente el acoso policial contra mi persona y mi equipo de acompañamiento, sufrida hace unos minutos en el Centro Civico 
Miriam Miranda,Twitter, 9 de septiembre de 2022

“Racismo puro y violación de DD.HH, contra el pueblo Garifuna. Apenas ven un grupo de Garifunas juntos, nos miran como sospechosos”. 

En 790 % crece la erradicación de coca este año en Honduras
Proceso Digital, 11 de septiembre de 2022

“A la fecha se registra la destrucción de 4 millones 277 mil 639 plantas de coca, que si se comparan a las 531 mil 836 erradicadas en todo el 2021, se establece un crecimiento de 790 %. El informe oficial actualizada da cuenta que en el presente año se han registrado fuertes golpes contra el narcotráfico, con el corte e incineración de más de 4 millones 277 mil 639 arbustos de hoja de coca, la inhabilitación de 13 áreas clandestinas de aterrizaje, el desmantelamiento de 23 narcolaboratorios y el decomiso de más de 4 mil 600 paquetes de cocaína”. 

Honduras: obreras siguen expuestas a violaciones de sus derechos humanos
Viena Hernández, criterio, 11 de septiembre de 2022

“Las excusas para los despidos son los llamados problemas de contratos y los resultados médicos, siendo estas empleadas con antigüedad que tienen problemas de salud, de esa forma, las están dejando sin trabajo y al no contar con derechos adquiridos prácticamente quedan en la calle, aunque los problemas de salud son ocasionados por ese mismo trabajo esclavizador trabajo”. 

Los errores y violaciones a derechos humanos cometidos por el Ejército Mexicano en casos de seguridad civil
infobae, 12 de septiembre de 2022

“Aunque la Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional (Sedena) señaló que esto fue resultado de un enfrentamiento entre un grupo de la delincuencia y elementos del 102 Batallón de Infantería, investigaciones periodísticas, el testimonio de una sobreviviente y la recomendación 51/2014 de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH) revelaron que entre 12 y 15 de las personas que murieron fue resultado de ejecuciones cometidas cuando los civiles ya se habían rendido. Además, se alteró la escena del crimen para encubrir a los responsables y se torturó a las sobrevivientes para que no revelaran lo sucedido”. 

Régimen de Excepción confirma división entre Demócratas y Republicanos respecto a Bukele
José Luis Sanz and Roman Gressier, elfaro, 13 de septiembre de 2022 

“La ambivalencia de múltiples líderes republicanos hacia Bukele es en parte mérito de la millonaria inversión que el Gobierno de El Salvador ha hecho en lobistas para evitar que los principales políticos republicanos acuerpen mayores medidas de presión en su contra. El pasado 28 de julio, en una audiencia del Senado para evaluar a William Duncan como posible embajador ante El Salvador, el republicano de Florida Marco Rubio dijo del Gobierno de Bukele: ‘No hay que aplaudir o celebrar todas las cosas con las que no estamos de acuerdo, pero tenemos un interés de seguridad nacional que hay que balancear’”. 

Mexico Arrests Army General Linked to Disappearance of 43 Students
Oscar Lopez, The New York Times, September 16, 2022

“Mexican authorities arrested a general for his alleged involvement in the disappearance of 43 students in 2014, the authorities said on Thursday, the latest in a recent string of developments in a high-profile case that has become a deep wound in the national psyche.”

ACTIONS, ALERTS, AND RESOURCES

Boletin No. 47
Brigadas Internacionales de Paz, agosto de 2022 

“De unos años a esta parte, al caminar por las calles del centro histórico de la Ciudad de Guatemala, nos sorprenden cientos de fotografías que empapelan algunas de sus paredes. Son personas desaparecidas durante el Conflicto Armado Interno (CAI) que sufrió Guatemala por más de 3 décadas, el cual llegó a su fin con la firma de los Acuerdos de Paz en diciembre de 1996. Últimamente, también encontramos la imagen de jóvenes cargando fotografías de cuando eran niñas, niños o bebés y que buscan a sus familias”. 

Rise of X: Governments Eye New Approaches for Trans and Nonbinary Travelers
 C.L. Quinan, Migration Policy Institute, August 17, 2022

“Because most nonbinary people worldwide do not have access to the X marker, this also means that they are forced to lie when presented with only ‘male’ or ‘female’ gender options. While the X attempts to rectify discrimination, there remains significant need for careful assessment of the challenges and consequences that nonbinary, third gender, and alternative gender markers may pose for trans and gender-diverse travelers, migrants, and refugees.” 

Here’s what needs to happen to ACTUALLY end #RMX & bring people to safety:
National Immigration Law Center, September 8, 2022

“Can you imagine trying to find a lawyer and prepare a complex asylum application while stranded in a foreign country, often without shelter or protection?  This is not what due process looks like.”

PBI México Informe Anual 2021
Brigadas Internacionales de Paz, 12 de septiembre de 2022

“Este tiempo suspendido nos hizo parar, voltear a mirar hacia nosotras mismas y hacia un país donde llevamos presentes 20 años. Reconvertimos el tiempo y lo aprovechamos. Ahora, después de casi dos años, podemos recordar el 2020 también por haber impulsado una serie infinita de procesos que nos están llevando a cambios profundos en el MEP y en la forma de estar presentes en México”. 

Fatally Flawed: “Remain in Mexico” Policy Should Never Be Revived
Kennji Kizuka, Human Rights First, September 13, 2022 

“But the RMX policy—and others like it that would force asylum seekers to wait outside the United States for their cases to be heard—simply cannot be implemented lawfully, safely, fairly, or humanely. During the court-ordered reimplementation of RMX (or RMX 2.0), asylum seekers reported horrific kidnappings, rapes, and other violent attacks after DHS returned them to Mexico.  A vanishingly small number of the mainly Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans subjected to the policy were granted asylum—just 63 people out of more than 1,600 completed cases.”


* 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!