Washington DC–The Latin America Working Group (LAWG) strongly condemns the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant, anti-refugee principles published this past Sunday, October 8th. In their entirety, these principles prioritize the funding of border militarization and the expansion of a deportation and detention force, block access to protections for asylum seeking Central American families and children, punish sanctuary cities, and attack family reunification for permanent legal residents. LAWG rejects any negotiations that will use the Dreamers as bargaining chips to implement this anti-American agenda.
The principles also promote a completely inappropriate role of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in foreign policy by proposing that DHS provide direct assistance to countries for deterrence and interdiction of those fleeing violence. This language encourages border externalization and ignores government’s responsibility to provide international protection to those seeking safety.
“These principles are nothing new–they’re part of the same anti-immigrant and anti-refugee agenda that the administration has pushed since taking office. Once again, these principles don’t stand for anything except an affront to American values. They are an attack on the immigrant youth and families that make our communities great and on our neighbors in Latin America from which many of these youth and their parents originate. They’re a non-starter for any negotiation on legislative proposals that would even begin to address our broken immigration system and should be rejected immediately,” states Daniella Burgi-Palomino, LAWG Senior Associate for Mexico, Migrant Rights and Border Issues.
LAWG urges Congress to oppose this vision for immigration reform that does not recognize the full contributions of all immigrants and refugees to the United States. We urge Congress to pass a clean Dream Act that does not unnecessarily increase funding for border militarization that will harm border communities, including thousands of Dreamers. LAWG also urges an 18 month extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the over 300,000 Haitians, Hondurans, Salvadorans, and Nicaraguans whose status is up for renewal in the next three months. Failure to renew TPS for Central Americans would run contrary to the administration’s stated goal of promoting prosperity and security in the Northern Triangle of Central America by potentially increasing internal displacement, cutting off remittances to weak economies, and returning individuals to danger and lack of opportunities.