El Salvador

Deaths of Father, Daughter in Rio Grande the Result of Inhumane Border Policies

Deaths of Father, Daughter in Rio Grande the Result of Inhumane Border Policies

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 President Eric Schwartz: Deaths of Father, Daughter in Rio Grande Result of Inhumane Border Policies

Refugees International President Eric Schwartz: Deaths of Father, Daughter in Rio Grande Result of Inhumane Border Policies

In a video message, Refugees International President Eric Schwartz shares thoughts 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 policies that prevent people from seeking asylum in safety and dignity.

Refugees International Joins NGOs in Voicing Opposition to Redirecting Funds from Northern Triangle Countries

Refugees International Joins NGOs in Voicing Opposition to Redirecting Funds from Northern Triangle Countries

Refugees International joined over 70 other NGOs in releasing a statement in response to the redirection of funds from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras as officially restated by the Department of State on June 17, 2019.

The Daily Dot: Lawsuit against Trump immigration decision cites ‘sh*thole countries’ remark

A class action lawsuit will be filed on Monday to try and overturn President Donald Trump’s decision to terminate temporary protected status (TPS) granted to immigrants fleeing natural disasters or conflict.

The lawsuit is the first to challenge the administration’s decision and is being brought by nine TPS status holders and five of their U.S. citizen children. The complaint will be filed with a district court in San Francisco by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and law firm Sidley Austin.

It argues that the “new rule violates the constitutional rights of school-age United States citizen children of TPS holders, by presenting them with an impossible choice: they must either leave their country or live without their parents.”

The Trump administration controversially ended the protections for all individuals from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan back in January. 

The complaint also cites reports, made days after the announcement of the administration’s plans, that the president had criticized the nations affected as “shithole countries.” The lawsuit argues that remark are proof that the administration’s decision “arises from the Trump Administration’s repeatedly-expressed racism toward non-white, non-European people from other countries.”

Immigrants from ten Central American and African countries have been afforded TPS since it was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush under the Immigration Act of 1990, many building businesses and raising families in the U.S. in the decades since.

Salvadorans make up 262,000 of the beneficiaries, more than half of the overall 436,000 TPS immigrants. Many came to the U.S. after two earthquakes devastated their country in 2001 or during the 1990s, fleeing a civil war.

According to a 2017 report by the Center for Migration Studies, 51 percent of Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries have resided in the U.S. for more than 20 years and 34 percent own a mortgage. The Department of Homeland Security has given them until September 2019 to leave or change their immigration status before deportations are enforced. As far as the DHS is concerned, the conditions under which the status was granted no longer exists.

Still, advocacy groups like Refugees International have protested that the country, although rebuilt, still suffers from severe economic problems and violent organized crime.

“This is a bad decision,” Refugees International president Eric Schwartz toldThe Guardian reflecting on Trump’s decision. “Given conditions in El Salvador, the return of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding residents of the United States who have been here for nearly two decades is just wrong. It’s wrong ethically and in terms of U.S. interests in stability in El Salvador.”

The lawsuit filed in California, however, will make its case against separating families and the constitutionality of the new policy. ACLU legal director Ahilan Arulanantham putting it quite simply: “These American children should not have to choose between their country and their family.” 

For the original article, click here. 

Vidas en riesgo: Fallas en las medidas de protección que afectan a hondureños y salvadoreños deportados de Estados Unidos y México

Vidas en riesgo: Fallas en las medidas de protección que afectan a hondureños y salvadoreños deportados de Estados Unidos y México

Según los hallazgos en el informe de Refugees International (RI), tanto Estados Unidos como México deportan a personas con considerables necesidades de protección a Honduras y El Salvador, países de los que huyeron. El informe, Vidas en riesgo: Fallas en las medidas de protección afectan a hondureños y salvadoreños deportados de Estados Unidos y México, indica que el proceso de protección en todas las etapas –desde la tramitación de una solicitud de asilo hasta la deportación y reinserción en el país de origen– se caracteriza por graves fallas que, en última instancia, ponen en peligro vidas humanas. La investigación de RI también determinó que, a pesar de las inversiones sustanciales en servicios de acogida para los deportados, tanto Honduras como El Salvador tienen sistemas de protección deficientes.

Putting Lives at Risk: Protection Failures Affecting Hondurans and Salvadorans Deported from the United States and Mexico

Putting Lives at Risk: Protection Failures Affecting Hondurans and Salvadorans Deported from the United States and Mexico

Both the United States and Mexico are deporting individuals with significant protection needs back to Honduras and El Salvador – the countries from which they fled. In this report, Refugees International (RI) finds that the protection process at every stage – from asylum application to deportation to reintegration into the country of origin – suffers from serious failures that ultimately put lives at risk. The RI research also found that despite important investments in reception services for deportees, both Honduras and El Salvador have weak protection systems.

IR Insider: Trump Administration Reverses Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans

United States Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen on Monday reversed a policy that has allowed over 200,000 Salvadorans to live and work in the United States since 2001. The program, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), provides legal status for undocumented immigrants seeking refuge from countries riven by natural disaster, civil war or other conflict, according to the New York Times. TPS was granted for Salvadorans after two major earthquakes struck their country in early 2001, leading many to seek refuge in the U.S.

Following the designation, the Bush and Obama administrations continued to extend the protected status due to political, economic and social strife in a gang-ravaged El Salvador, which had the highest murder rate in Central America last year, reported the Washington Post. The Trump Administration, however, rescinded the protection on the basis that El Salvador had recovered from the 2001 earthquakes, the original reason for the program’s institution, reported the Washington Post.

“This is a bad decision,” Refugees International president Eric Schwartz told The Guardian. “Given conditions in El Salvador, the return of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding residents of the United States who have been here for nearly two decades is just wrong. It’s wrong ethically and in terms of US interests in stability in El Salvador.”

The decision could cause drastic harm to the Salvadoran economy. Political scientist Manuel Orozco told NPR that 80 to 85 percent of Salvadorans in the U.S. send home remittances, which totals over $4.5 billion per year, the Washington Post reports, and 17 percent of El Salvador’s GDP, according to World Bank.

The U.S. could also suffer from the lost legal statuses of Salvadorans, many of whom work for companies that are assisting in the clean-up and reconstruction efforts of hurricane-ravaged areas, including Houston.

“During hurricane recovery, I especially need those men,” Stan Marek, a construction company executive, told the New York Times. “If they lose their status, I have to terminate them.”

If the decision stands, Salvadorans who were previously protected must leave the U.S. by Sept. 9, 2019, or risk staying illegally. Undocumented immigrants with U.S.-born children fear their families could be torn apart.

For the full article, click here. 

The Trump Administration Decision to End El Salvador's TPS Designation

The Trump Administration Decision to End El Salvador's TPS Designation

The Trump Administration has decided to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for El Salvador.  As a result, the fate of some 200,000 Salvadorans currently living in the United States is now in question, as is the status of nearly 200,000 of their American citizen children. The Salvadorans now have just 18 months to leave the United States, unless Congress takes action.

Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador

Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador

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.

Displacement and Violence in the Northern Triangle

Displacement and Violence in the Northern Triangle

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.

The Refugee Crisis at Home

The Refugee Crisis at Home

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

No Safe Spaces for El Salvador's Youth

No Safe Spaces for El Salvador's Youth

While the number of arrivals at the U.S. border has decreased this year, it's not because less children are leaving El Salvador. Rather, the U.S. and Mexico have joined to intercept more unaccompanied children at Mexico’s southern border, so they’re not making it to the U.S. in the same numbers. There are also likely hundreds of thousands of Salvadoran children not in school because they have been forcibly displaced. 

"It's a Suicide Act to Leave or Stay": Internal Displacement in El Salvador

"It's a Suicide Act to Leave or Stay": Internal Displacement in El Salvador

El Salvador has just achieved the grim distinction of becoming the murder capital of the world. In the first six months of this year, almost 3,000 people were murdered, and hundreds of thousands more were subject to extortion, death threats, forced recruitment, and rape by the country’s two major gangs. So far, the government has been unable to stop this extraordinary level of violence, which is forcing tens of thousands of Salvadorans from their homes.

Life in “The Devil’s Door”

Life in “The Devil’s Door”

It is a Saturday evening in El Salvador, and my Refugees International colleague and I are riding in the back of a car with our heads on our knees. We are on our way to meet with a displaced family who are being hidden in a "safe house." We have been asked to stay undercover for the last five minutes of the approach – a security precaution to protect both ourselves and, more importantly, the family we are about to meet. It makes a profound impression upon us both as to the immediacy of the threat faced by those displaced by violence in this country. 

The Many Victims of El Salvador’s Gang Violence

The Many Victims of El Salvador’s Gang Violence

In January 2015, El Salvador’s media reported live as almost 50 residents of an apartment building furiously packed up everything they could before fleeing. This was not an organized evacuation for an oncoming hurricane or some other natural disaster. It was a frantic movement of people who had been ordered to get out of their homes within 24 hours or be killed by the dominating gang in that area of Mejicanos, a municipality that runs alongside San Salvador. Their fear was not unfounded. Just 10 days before, the child of a pupusa vendor was killed outside the apartment building. In 2010, just six blocks away, a bus was set on fire with the passengers still inside. Seventeen people died.

Investigando los Desplazados Internos de México y El Salvador

Investigando los Desplazados Internos de México y El Salvador

Mexicanos y Salvadoreños siguen sufriendo ataques diarios contra los individuos, familias y comunidades a través de la extorsión, secuestros, violaciones y homicidios. Estos ataques son generalmente a manos de grupos y bandas criminales organizadas, pero a menudo, la policía y los militares están involucrados o específicamente orquestando eventos violentos. La inseguridad y la focalización de los ciudadanos de ambos países han causado desplazamiento interno masivo. Aunque el número verdadero de personas internamente desplazadas por el crimen organizado no es conocido, al menos 280,000 personas fueron desplazadas en cada país el año pasado.

Investigating Mexico and El Salvador’s Internally Displaced

Investigating Mexico and El Salvador’s Internally Displaced

Mexicans and Salvadorans continue to suffer from daily attacks on Individuals, Families, and Communities through extortion, kidnappings, rapes, and homicides. These attacks are faq frequently at the hands of organized criminal groups and gangs, but Too Often, the police and military are orchestrating Specifically Involved or violent events. The insecurity and targeting of the Citizens of Both Countries have led to mass internal displacement. While the actual number of people internally displaced by organized criminal groups is not known, Were At least 280,000 people displaced in each country just last year. 

The Tragic Link Between Gang Violence and Displacement in Central America

The Tragic Link Between Gang Violence and Displacement in Central America

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.