Panel Discussion: Legal Challenges Facing Central American Asylum Seekers

Join us for a panel discussion on July 16 at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Click here or on the image to RSVP now.

Join us for a panel discussion on July 16 at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. 

Join us for a panel discussion on July 16 at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Public Declaration from Civil Society organizations on the Situation in the Northern Triangle

summit

VII Summit of the Americas Public Statement

Panama 2015

Public statement by the Regional Network of Civil Organizations for Migration (RROCM); Jesuit Network for Migrants, The Children’s Shelter (Guatemala), the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), participants at the Forum for Civil Society and Social Actors in the Framework of the VII Summit of the Americas, developed in Panama.

Faced with the challenges that the new reality of migration has presented to us in the countries of origin, transit, destination, and return, social organizations that work to defend and promote the human rights of migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, displaced persons, and children and adolescents, call on all the States present at the VII Summit of the Americas, to dialogue and remain conscious of the situation of migrants and the need to maintain full respect for their human rights.

Conscious of the ways in which the human rights of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees have been gravely violated, we urge the States to implement a comprehensive approach, rather than a response confined to economic considerations, or that relies on deportations, security infrastructure and arbitrary detentions.

While it is true that the population of migrant workers and the remittances contribute to development, all the same, without dignified work, respect and a guarantee of their economic, social and cultural rights, these people and their families cannot fully integrate into their home countries or the countries where they arrive. Read the rest of this entry »

Central American refugees flee violence

Migration from the Northern Triangle of Central America — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — has risen steadily as violence has increased. Mary Small of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and Shaina Aber of the United States Jesuit Conference explain what is driving people to flee for their lives.

Learn more at jrsusa.org

Youth gang violence has intensified in the last decade, and as drug trafficking routes have shifted to Central America, violence associated with the drug trade has risen as well. Honduras has the highest homicide rate in world; from 2005-2012, murders of women and girls have increased 346% while murders of men and boys are up 292%. In all three countries, rates of impunity are over 90%.

Child advocates, especially from Honduras and El Salvador, report accounts of children and teenagers subject to assaults and intimidation from gangs, and of children being forcibly recruited by gangs who have “join or die” polices. In a survey conducted by UNHCR of 404 Central American children detained at the border in 2013, UNHCR found that 58% of the children might be in need of international protection.

Obama Administration Includes Arbitrary Number of Detention Beds in FY 2015 Budget

Detention Watch Network Urges Congress to End the Quota and Reduce Wasteful Spending on the Incarceration of Immigrants

(Washington, D.C.) March 5, 2014 — Yesterday the Obama Administration released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security. The proposal includes $ 1.8 billion for detention and maintains funding for 30,539 beds. In response to release of the FY 2015 budget proposal, Silky Shah, Interim Executive Director of Detention Watch Network (DWN) states:

“DWN is disappointed to learn that the Obama administration continues to prioritize the mass detention and deportation of immigrants. The request to fund an arbitrary and predetermined number of detention beds underscores the use of a quota and is an obstacle toward true reform of a detention system that is rife with abuse.  While the Administration reduced the number of detention beds from its FY 2014 budget request, it is disappointing that President Obama has continued to fulfill the detention bed quota.  DWN calls upon Congress to eliminate the detention bed quota for FY 2015.

DWN notes that the President’s budget also requests $94.1 million in funding for Alternatives to Detention. However, it is currently unclear whether the expanded funding for Alternatives to Detention would reduce the detention population, which should be a priority.”

###

The Detention Watch Network works through the collective strength and diversity of its members to expose and challenge the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons.

Jesuit Refugee Service report highlights abuses against Central American migrants in Mexico

(Washington, D.C.) November 4, 2013 — A new report from Jesuit Refugee Service/USA notes that the flows of migrants from Central America toward the U.S. require special consideration both from a human rights perspective and because their vulnerability is intimately linked to continued regional insecurity.

The report, Persistent Insecurity: Abuses against Central Americans in Mexico, includes specific recommendations to alleviate the abuses faced by migrants on their journey. As they travel through Mexico, migrants are abused by organized crime syndicates, government officials and opportunistic criminals.

“Migrants are human beings who deserve dignity and respect,” said Mary Small, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Assistant Director of Policy. “Our communities and our governments can take steps to make sure these tragedies stop, whether it is migrants drowning in the Mediterranean or migrants being tortured and killed in Mexico.” Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Family Separations

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA believes the U.S. should live up to its tradition of fairness and generosity toward refugees and migrants, and uphold international standards for the treatment of those seeking refuge in this country. Improvements in U.S. law and policy are needed to protect the rights of asylum seekers, forcibly displaced people, vulnerable migrants, and detained immigrants in the United States.

Father Sean Carroll S.J., Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative, is testified at an Ad-hoc Congressional Hearing. The Jesuit priest is highlighting failures to preserve family unity in the context of immigration enforcement and offering four recommendations for Congressional consideration.
In his testimony, Fr. Carroll notes that “Because of our current policies, the Applied Research Center’s report “Shattered Families” finds that 5,100 children are in foster care since they cannot be with a detained or deported parent. In the first six months of 2011, the United States government removed more than 46,000 mothers and fathers of U.S. citizen children. This reality falls far short of what Scripture teaches regarding care for the widow, the orphan and the stranger. Our current policies essentially leave many children as orphans, wives and husbands as widows and widowers and the stranger deported across the border, away from their family members who need them so deeply.

“This report, supported by our experience and service on the border, confirms the disastrous effects of current U.S. immigration policies on families, whether through the process of deportation or because of mixed immigration status. We can and must do better. Out of respect for the God-given dignity of the human person and my deep commitment to justice and compassion, I offer these four recommendations for your consideration today.”

The full text of Fr. Carroll’s testimony as prepared for delivery can be read here:
jrsusa.org/news_detail?TN=NEWS-20130409112712

Haití-República Dominicana: 700 trabajadores migrantes haitianos autorizados para regresar a RD

Ouanamithe-Dajabón) 8 de febrero de 2013 — Hoy la ciudad de Ouanaminthe en Haití amanece con una buena noticia: luego de un mes de espera, 700 trabajadores migrantes haitianos que habían quedado varados al norte de la frontera haitiano-dominicana  recibieron ayer sus pasaportes debidamente sellados con visas dominicanas.

Hoy pueden cruzar de manera legal el puente fronterizo, ubicado sobre el río Masacre que separa ambos países, para volver a sus puestos de trabajo en República Dominicana.

Esta decisión que beneficia a esos trabajadores migrantes haitianos es resultado de un acuerdo al que llegaron las autoridades de ambos países, bajo la mediación del director de Solidaridad Fronteriza del Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes (SJM), el Padre jesuita Regino Martínez Breton.

Read the rest of this entry »