Migration News Brief March 10, 2023

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LAWG Denounces Biden’s Plan to Detain Migrant Families
The Latin America Working Group, March 9, 2023
“‘The Biden Administration appears to be considering bringing back these failed and cruel policies despite knowing quite well that these families are fleeing failed states, endemic corruption, and lack of economic opportunity,’ said Lisa Haugaard, executive director of LAWG. She added, ‘This policy risks forcing parents to send their children over the border alone to face in the United States the same exploitation and violence from which they fled.  I urge President Biden  to abandon this cruel detention plan and refocus resources towards addressing root causes, including using diplomacy and aid to support respect for human rights, strengthening the rule of law, inclusive economic development and much needed social programs.’”

U.S. Enforcement

FACT SHEET: President Biden’s Budget Strengthens Border Security, Enhances Legal Pathways, and Provides Resources to Enforce Our Immigration Laws
The White House, March 9, 2023
“President Biden has taken historic steps to secure our border and rebuild a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system that was gutted by the previous Administration. Over the past two years, the Biden-Harris Administration has secured more resources for border security than any of the presidents who preceded him, deployed the most agents ever—more than 23,000—to address the situation at the border, prevented record levels of illicit fentanyl from entering our country, and brought together world leaders on a framework to deal with changing migration patterns that are impacting the entire Western Hemisphere.”

U.S. Is Said to Consider Reinstating Detention of Migrant Families – The New York Times
Eileen Sullivan and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, The New York Times, March 6, 2023
“​The Biden administration is considering reviving the practice of detaining migrant families who cross the border illegally — the same policy the president shut down over the past two years because he wanted a more humane immigration system, officials familiar with the discussions said Monday.”

A cleaning company illegally hired a 13-year-old. Her family is paying the price.
Maria Sacchetti and Lauren Kaori Gurley, The Washington Post, March 3, 2023
“At 13, she was too young to be cleaning a meatpacking plant in the heart of Nebraska cattle country, working the graveyard shift amid the brisket saws and the bone cutters. The cleaning company broke the law when it hired her and more than two dozen other teenagers in this gritty industrial town, federal officials said.”

Struggling with U.S. asylum app, migrant families split at border | Reuters
Daina Beth Solomon and Ted Hesson, Reuters, February 27, 2023
“Dozens of migrant families are splitting up at Mexico’s northern border as they struggle to secure U.S. asylum appointments on a government app beset by high demand and persistent glitches, migrants and advocates say.”

DeSantis signs bill expanding controversial migrant transportation program | CNN Politics
Steve Contorno, CNN, February 15, 2023
“The measure allows the DeSantis administration to pick up where the governor left off last year when he sent two planes of migrants from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The action sparked multiple lawsuits and questions as to whether the DeSantis administration had violated state law by rounding up migrants in Texas. The budget law that created the $12 million program specified that the money was set aside to relocate “unauthorized aliens from this state.”

Mexican Enforcement 

Aumenta migración de mujeres en Mexico, destaca Agenda Migrante
Jorge Butrón, Razón, 28 de febrero de 2023
“La directora de Agenda Migrante, Eunice Rendón aseguró que en 2022 hubo un aumento del 34.1 por ciento de eventos de mujeres en situación migratoria irregular en México, con respecto a las cifras que se registraron durante 2021”.

Root Causes

Many Undocumented Immigrants Are Departing After Decades in the U.S. – The New York Times
Miriam Jordan, The New York Times, March 1, 2023
“In August 2021, more than three decades after sneaking across the southern border as young adults to work and support their families in Mexico, Irma and Javier Hernandez checked in at La Guardia Airport for a one-way flight from New York to Oaxaca. They were leaving behind four American children, stable jobs where they were valued employees and a country they had grown to love.”


Spying by Mexico’s Armed Forces Brings Fears of a ‘Military State’ – The New York Times
Natalie Kitroeff and Ronen Bergman, New York Times, March 7th, 2023
“Mexico’s armed forces spied on a human rights defender and journalists who were investigating allegations that soldiers had gunned down innocent people, documents show, providing clear evidence of the military’s illegal use of surveillance tools against civilians.”

Haitian Bridge Alliance, March 6, 2023
“On Friday, March 3, 2023, a video and photo surfaced on social media allegedly showing the aftermath of a shooting of three Black men and the potential kidnapping of a Black woman near a migrant encampment in Matamoros on the US-Mexico border. Upon hearing reports of the shooting from migrants in the nearby camp, the Haitian Bridge Alliance reached out to entities in Mexico and the United States immediately to warn them of these extreme acts of violence fearing for the Haitians and other asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border.”

La masacre de Nuevo Laredo: pistas, detalles e inconsistencias | EL PAÍS México
Pablo Ferri, El País, 6 de marzo de 2023
“De todo lo que se ignora de la masacre de Nuevo Laredo, y es bastante, hay un momento determinante: el del primer disparo. De los cuatro militares que, según el informe rendido a la Fiscalía, accionaron sus armas contra la camioneta de civiles el domingo pasado, alguien debió de hacerlo primero. Los demás fueron detrás. Dispararon más de 60 veces. Mataron a cinco jóvenes y dejaron a otro malherido. Uno más salió ileso. No hubo, que se sepa hasta ahora, una agresión previa, una provocación. Nada”.

El Plan B, la democracia y los contrapesos en México
Stephanie Brewer, WOLA, 6 de marzo de 2023
“La reciente aprobación por el Congreso mexicano del paquete de reformas electorales conocido como el Plan B detonó protestas nacionales y preocupación internacional por la integridad del sistema electoral. En este marco, conviene voltear a ver el contexto más amplio de debilitamiento y retos para los contrapesos institucionales en México. Para defender la democracia, hace falta fortalecer la labor y la independencia de múltiples instituciones que tendrían que garantizar la vida democrática, el estado de derecho y los derechos humanos”.

Migrant Caravans: A Deep Dive Into Mass Migration through Mexico and the Effects of Immigration Policy | Baker Institute
Gary J. Hale and Jie Ma, Baker Institute, March 2, 2023
“U.S. immigration policy remains murky in substance as well as legislatively incomplete. Polarization of the issue by American politicians and legislators has resulted in both punitive and permissive policy pronouncements over the last four U.S. presidential administrations, most of which have done little to deter migrants from crossing through Mexico into the U.S. in search of a better life.”


Meet Thelma Cabrera, the Indigenous Leader Barred from Running in Guatemala’s Presidential Election
Democracy Now, 3 de marzo de 2023
“Guatemala’s presidential election this year is taking place against a backdrop of worsening repression against journalists, human rights activists and Indigenous environmental defenders. The Guatemalan Constitutional Court on Thursday upheld a decision by the country’s electoral tribunal to bar Indigenous human rights defender Thelma Cabrera from running.”

Guatemala y Honduras avanzan en futuro protocolo para niñez migrante – Prensa Latina
Prensa Latina, 2 de marzo de 2023
“Una nota de prensa del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores destaca este tema como uno de los avances del Encuentro Binacional Técnico concluido este jueves entre autoridades de los dos países en función de brindar una atención diferenciada e integral.Según trascendió, la reunión abordó a detalle perfiles de niños y adolescentes migrantes y los procesos nacionales aplicables para la atención, protección, reintegración y retorno de los mismos”.

Guatemala, Crossroads of the Venezuelan Exodus
Roman Gressier, El Faro, February 27, 2023
“Guatemala has become a key gatekeeper for the United States in curbing migration. Authorities reported that 15,593 Venezuelans were barred from entering from Honduras, with a major increase in arrivals in October. There were just 2,039 migrants prevented from entering from the next-closest group, Ecuadorians. In Guatemala the government “assisted 882 Venezuelan nationals with voluntary return” by plane last year, Guatemalan Migration Institute (IGM) spokesperson Alejandra Mena told me.”

El Salvador

Bukele Looks to Eliminate Four-Fifths of El Salvador Municipalities
Nelson Rauda Zablah, El Faro, March 8, 2023
“Two days before the premonitory tweet, Soyapango Mayor Nercy Montano —a member of Bukele’s party in the second most populous city of El Salvador— was arrested for alleged embezzlement and misuse of worker contributions. In the preceding weeks, the municipality had weathered a trash collection crisis spawned by striking employees who claimed they hadn’t received their wages.”

Opinion | There’s more to Bukele’s mass imprisonments – The Washington Post
The Washington Post, March 3, 2023
“Salvadorans are understandably relieved to have violent gang members off the streets. But there is a dark side to Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele’s mass imprisonments. The “state of emergency” is also being used to target his political opponents and solidify his dictatorship.”

Ministro de Trabajo busca expandir Programa de Migración Laboral a México.
Ministerio de Trabajo, 27 de febrero de 2023
“El Ministro de Trabajo y Previsión Social, Rolando Castro, visita el Distrito Federal de México, con la finalidad de reunirse con autoridades y empresarios de ese país norteamericano, y promover el Programa de Migración Laboral, que ha beneficiado a muchos salvadoreños con un empleo digno en el extranjero”.


En Honduras cada 20 horas con 41 minutos muere una mujer de manera homicida
Marcia Perdomo, Criterio Hn, marzo 7 de 2023
“Las cifras contrastan con las del 2022, cuando la ocurrencia de violencia letal contra las mujeres era cada 28 horas, según proporcionó la coordinadora del ONV de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH), Migdonia Ayestas”.

​​PBI-Honduras accompanies COPINH at seventh anniversary remembrance of Lenca water protector Berta Cáceres – Peace Brigades International-Canada
Brent Patterson, Peace Brigades , March 3, 2023

“In a statement, which they read in the city of La Esperanza in the department of Intibucá, COPINH points out that the stubborn search for justice means that one more year they have gathered in Honduras and in many parts of the world to commemorate another year of the sowing of Berta Cáceres as a seed of freedom for the Lenca and Honduran people.”

Siete años de búsqueda de justicia y memoria por Berta Cáceres. Es momento de actuar. – COPINH
COPINH, 2 de marzo de 2023
“El COPINH junto a las hijas, hijo y madre de la compañera Berta Cáceres, al cumplirse siete años del cruel crimen que quitó la vida a la compañera Berta y en el cual fue atacado el compañero Gustavo Castro, nos pronunciamos en lo siguiente: La testaruda búsqueda por la justicia hace que un año más nos encontremos en la ciudad de La Esperanza-Intibucá, en Honduras y en muchas partes del mundo para conmemorar un año más de la siembra de Berta Cáceres como semilla de libertad para el pueblo Lenca y hondureño”.

Honduras debe prevenir y dar soluciones duraderas al desplazamiento forzado
Yahoo News, 2 de marzo de 2023
“Honduras debe trabajar en la prevención del desplazamiento interno forzado por la violencia, que obligó a 631 personas a huir de sus hogares entre 2021 y 2022, y ofrecer “soluciones duraderas”, señaló este jueves a EFE la Pastoral de Movilidad Humana, una organización de la Iglesia católica hondureña”.


South Florida’s Nicaraguan community may not be as ready as others for paroled migrants | WLRN
Tim Padgett, WRLN, February 28, 2023
“Nicaraguans are among the four national groups from crisis-torn countries eligible for the humanitarian parole. It lets them avoid the dangerous treks to the overwhelmed U.S. southern border and come here for two years — and work — if they have a sponsor who can support them.”

Actions, Alerts, and Resources 

Andrea Flores, International Mayan League, March 6, 2023
“The report highlights how thousands of unaccompanied migrant children – mostly from Guatemala – who have crossed the border, settled in the U.S., and been released by the Biden administration, end up working some of “the most punishing jobs in the country.” We are grateful for this critical exposé but remain concerned that the article does not mention that many of the minors interviewed are likely Indigenous Maya children who have fled Guatemala to the U.S. because of the history of war and genocide and U.S. intervention along with current structural inequality, discrimination, debilitating poverty, and climate change.”

WOLA and Temple Law School Present a New Series of Resources for Asylum Attorneys – Annotated Table of Contents Project – Sheller Center for Social Justice
WOLA, February 28, 2023
Temple University Beasley School of Law‘s Sheller Center for Social Justice and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) are publishing a new series of Annotated Table of Contents (ATOCs) for attorneys supporting asylum claims. Our ongoing asylum project provides expert research for attorneys to bolster their arguments about country conditions and fortify their client’s claims of dire need to seek protection in the United States.”

February ICE Air report AntiBlackness In Matamoros.MP4
Tom Cartwright, CAMigration Foreign Policy, February 2023
“Combined with the 12 Mexican Government deportation flights (pages 14,19) and Mexico section below) Honduras received 34 return flights in February, up from 18 in January, but in line with 30 in December. Air returns from Mexico and the US totaled an estimated 3,330 and combined with land returns from Mexico of 1,379 there were total returns to Honduras from Mexico and the US of 4,680, up from about 2,350 in January.”