Author: Daniella Burgi-Palomino
We know that the dire situation of violence, corruption, and poverty in the Northern Triangle of Central America—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—is forcing thousands of individuals and families to flee their homes and seek protection elsewhere. As asylum applications have skyrocketed in the United States, as well as in Mexico and other Central American countries, we have urged our government and the governments of the region to respond to a humanitarian crisis with humanitarian solutions. Yet, they have been reluctant to leave behind their harmful approaches, and they continue supporting militarized border security and immigration enforcement.
This Thursday and Friday, the Trump Administration, together with the Mexican government and the Inter-American Development Bank, is hosting the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America in Miami to discuss security, governance, and economic issues that affect El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The reported goals of the conference include increasing private sector investment in the region, improving security, and informing the U.S. strategy for engagement in Central America.
We are concerned that the conference aims to discuss the root causes of forced displacement and migration solely with security and economic solutions, without addressing the protection needs and human rights of the families, individuals, and children from the region. One day of the conference will be held at U.S. Southern Command headquarters sending the message that these issues will be addressed from the perspective of the military and defense. These are NOT the solutions to effectively and sustainably address this humanitarian crisis.
Join us in telling our government to stand up for protection and human rights for immigrants and refugees from Central America, NOT more harmful deportations, military-led security, or large-scale investment that does not help communities in the region.
We’re pushing back on all fronts, and we need your help to get the message out loud and clear! Join us in speaking out with the administration, Congress, the media, and grassroots activists like you about U.S. policies that could harm, not help, the region.
Check out the actions below to see how you can help us stand up for human rights and protection in Central America!
LAWG, alongside over 100 national and international civil society allies from the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador (as well as other Latin American and European countries), sent a letter expressing concerns regarding topics to be discussed at the conference and urging Secretary Tillerson to demonstrate leadership to ensure that human rights do not take a backseat in any agreements reached during the conference. The letter is available in English here and Spanish here.
Help us share the letter and raise these concerns this week!
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In English, en español.
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In English, en español.
Representative Alan Lowenthal of southern California has authored a letter to Secretary Tillerson calling for the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America to put the human rights of Central Americans and all migrants and refugees, particularly the right to seek asylum, front and center. To have the biggest impact possible, we need as many Members of Congress as possible to sign this letter!
Call or email your representative today and ask them to join Mr. Lowenthal as a co-signer.
Note: The deadline for representatives to sign onto the letter is Tuesday, June 13th at 5:00pm EDT, so time is of the essence. Please take action now.
LAWG and partners are holding a telephonic press briefing to alert the press and inform them on the issues at hand.
Share the briefing recording on social media or via email with colleagues and friends, and feel free to listen in yourself!
LAWG and partners are hosting a civil society briefing in Miami to discuss the real situation on the ground, the U.S. response, and offer recommendations for more sustainable and compassionate response.