Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales is coming to Washington to finalize negotiations with President Trump on a “safe third country agreement” that would be an egregious violation of law and common decency.
Refugees International President Eric Schwartz comments on the tragic image of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria from El Salvador whose deaths are the inevitable result of inhumane and unconscionable policies that prevent people from seeking asylum in safety and dignity.
Refugees International welcomes the co-hosting of the second Conference for Prosperity and Security in Central America. But in the context of a conference addressing security, it is appalling that the Administration’s public statements about the conference have not specifically addressed the critical need to protect the lives of women, men, and children being returned to Central America.
The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security has decided not to extend the Temporary Protected Status designation for El Salvador. That decision impacts more than 200,000 Salvadorans living in the United States and potentially undermines the stability of El Salvador should they be forced to return. The policy brief outlines the implications of the TPS decision.
Following a recent mission to the Northern Triangle region of Central American, Refugees International finds that current conditions require that the United States government not deport Temporary Protective Status beneficiaries from Honduras and El Salvador. Rather, the U.S. should provide alternatives for Honduran and Salvadoran women, men and children to remain in the United States legally.
Beginning in the summer of 2013, unusually high numbers of children, both on their own and with their mothers, crossed the southern border of the United States. The numbers increased again last fall, with some 21,500 family units apprehended at the U.S. border between October and December 2015 — almost three times as many as the same period the year before. While there has been much debate about the cause of this surge, pervasive violence in the countries of origin is a major factor. Refugees International has reported on the extreme violence and lack of protection that drives many such persons to risk this often dangerous and uncertain journey to the U.S
The undersigned 275 civil rights, labor rights, faith-based, immigrant, human rights, humanitarian, and legal service organizations respectfully request that the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Secretary of State, designate El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (an area known as the “Northern Triangle”) for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). These three countries warrant TPS designation in light of the dramatically escalating violence that has precipitated a humanitarian crisis of refugees fleeing the Northern Triangle countries.
From the massive migration of an estimated 70,000 unaccompanied children to the U.S. border this past summer to President Barack Obama’s recent executive action on immigration reform, issues facing Central America have entered the national spotlight here in the US. The underlying internal displacement trends within Central America have not received as much attention, but are perhaps even more important as they reveal a frightening relationship between gang violence and forced migration within Central America.