US and Mexico's mass deportations have fueled humanitarian crisis, report says
Tide of vulnerable people fleeing violence in Central America preyed upon by criminals and corrupt officials in part due to inadequate asylum procedures
By Nina Lakhani

Mass deportations and inadequate asylum procedures in Mexico and the US have fueled a humanitarian crisis where desperate Central Americans seeking refuge from rampant violence are routinely preyed upon by criminal gangs and corrupt officials, according to a new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG).

The tide of people fleeing Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala – three of the five most dangerous countries in the world – continues apace despite beefed-up border control measures implemented after Barack Obama declared the 2014 surge in undocumented migrants a humanitarian crisis. Last year, Mexico deported 165,000 Central Americans, while the US expelled 75,000.

In order to avoid detection, vulnerable people – who include increasing numbers of women and unaccompanied children – are forced to pay higher fees to smugglers, crooked officials, and kidnappers, and use riskier, more isolated routes through Mexico, according to the report Easy Prey: Criminal Violence and Central American Migration. Once deported, many simply try again rather than face hunger and violence at home, creating a revolving door of vulnerable migrants and refugees.

The report comes after the US, for the first time, recognised that the surge in people currently fleeing Central America includes potential refugees, not just economic migrants. The Obama administration on Tuesday announced a new scheme whereby Costa Rica will offer temporary protection to 200 eligible Central American refugees at a time before they are settled in the US or another country.

While the news was welcomed as a positive emblematic step by immigrant rights’ groups, there was widespread scepticism about its potential impact amid rapidly rising asylum claims. As violence in the Northern Triangle spiked in 2015, the number of asylum seekers from these countries rose to more than 110,000 – a fivefold increase from 2012. Most seek refuge in Mexico and the US.
The Refugee Option Obama Will Ignore

Under existing law, with the stroke of a pen, President Obama could solve the current crisis of the Central American children coming to America without visas. He could, and should, declare most or all of them to be refugees under Section 207(b) of the Immigration & Nationality Act, 8 U.S. Code Sec.1157(b).

That statute gives any president the power to determine that an “emergency refugee situation is justified by grave humanitarian concerns” and to admit a limited number of refugees per year.

We’ve done this before: “From December 1960 to October 1962, more than fourteen thousand Cuban youths arrived alone in the United States. What is now known as Operation Pedro Pan was the largest recorded exodus of Unaccompanied minors in the Western Hemisphere.” Most of the children were granted visa waivers by the State Department, at the request of Father Bryan Walsh, Director of Miami’s Catholic Welfare Bureau.

During World War II, of course, an even larger children’s exodus was organized by the British government in response to Hitler’s bombing of London. “CalledOperation Pied Piper, millions of people, most of them children, were shipped to rural areas in Britain as well as overseas to Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Almost 3 million people were evacuated during the first four days of the operation, making it the biggest and most concentrated population movement in British history.”

If these numbers scare you, remember that between 1845 and 1855, when the population of the USA was much smaller, we managed to assimilate more than 1.5 million Irish who were fleeing starvation from the Potato Famine.

But even though several thousand Central American kids are but a drop in the historical bucket, President Obama won’t lift a finger to help them. In fact, he has decided to “send the message that you can’t just show up on the border, plead for asylum or refugee status, and hope to get it.”

Refugees – and that’s what these kids are – need and deserve our help, not the selfish and shameful “protests” in Murrietta, California, and not the Presidential cold shoulder.
Obama talks border issues with Central America leaders

President Obama told Central American leaders Friday that they have “a shared responsibility” to halt the illegal flow of migrants across the southern border, a surge that includes thousands of unaccompanied children.

So the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador met today with president Obama and Biden to discuss the situation with the child refugees. Many of the suggested policies still trouble me, but I thought I’d share this article that I think does a pretty good job of summarizing what seem to be the main points that this meeting touched upon. Also potentially of interest - from yesterday when the presidents spoke out: Central American Presidents Say U.S. Shares Responsibility For Migration Crisis
Volunteers Needed To Work With Immigrant Children At Fort Sill

Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City has been approved by the government to start working with the illegal immigrant children being held at Fort Sill.

    They will help each child understand their immigration status as it relates to U.S. Immigration Law.

    Catholic Charities is looking for volunteers.  They need attorneys, case workers, translators, administrative assistants and writers/videographers.

     Anyone interested can submit a volunteer application on the group’s website:

    Applicants will be asked to complete a background check before the application is reviewed.

Hey y'all, for personal/political/research reasons, I’ve been collecting links to articles and media that document the current situation with the child migrants from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. I figure this is easier than sharing all of them in full on here. That said, I’ve provided some short summaries of what I found “useful” or as a takeaway from each. Note that there’s a lot of racism, xenophobia, classism, etc. present in the content (and sometimes the word choice), either directly or indirectly, so please read/watch with that in mind. And do NOT look at the comments. Ever. 

[These are mainly major news sources, so please keep in mind that the way they frame this situation is probably different than most of us might.]

Update from this weekend: (7/5 - 7/7)  (7/5) Deportation data won’t dispel rumors drawing migrant minors to U.S. - LA Times

I didn’t like this article, but I think it shows how a lot of the questions regarding our current immigration context are being asked, and, more importantly, towards the bottom, there’s some pretty good photos that chronologically go through the situation in Murrieta, CA (I think they’re in reverse order).

(7/6) California Mayor Alan Long on immigration: “The world showed up on our doorsteps” - CNN 

Something else that’s been major lately has been Mayor Alan Long’s response to questions about Murrieta citizens’ actions. Here’s a transcript of a CNN interview with him and Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar about their take on the current context, and in which Long does a lot of backpedalling to frame his actions and those of Murrieta in the “kids’ best interests.”

(7/7) The Full ‘Meet the Press’ Interview with Secretary Johnson of DHS and New Neo-Nativist Journalist David Gregory (VIDEO) - Latino Rebels>>NBC 

Jeh Johnson was recently on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to discuss the immigration context and the Obama administration’s steps to figure out what to do. David Gregory shows some very loaded questioning and Johnson’s answers are very carefully constructed as a result - not much new in general. Some weird things about plans for Secure Communities as well (an offhand comment). 

(7/6) Gilberto, el menor guatemalteco que murió al buscar el sueño americano
(7/6) Casa Blanca: “El Pdte. no tiene autoridad para hacer algo permanente para los indocumentad
(7/6) ¿Por qué los republicanos mataron la reforma migratoria?
(7/6) Lupillo Rivera: ‘’Ya no es en contra los inmigrantes. Es contra los latinos en este país’’

These videos are all from Jorge Ramos’s Sunday show on Univision Al punto, but I think they’re very interesting to get a sense of Spanish-language reporting on the issue as well as a bit more of a sympathetic point of view. All four interviews offer a variety of perspectives (~generally~ more sympathetic than most U.S. media), so if you’re interested, I’d recommend checking it out. I think they add a lot of good context and narratives. 

(7/7) Behind the Scenes of Obama’s Sudden Immigration Reversal - The Atlantic

There’s a lot that seems to be going on in this article, among them, a difference in Obama’s stance toward adult undocumented immigrants/those here pre-DACA vs. the child immigrants, whom he seems to want to process/deport more quickly. Of course, the article is trying to get a specific spin on this, but it’s still worrisome as Obama makes moves to use executive actions in the coming month(s).

anonymous asked:

The thing about Murrieta is that they don't have enough resources. They would be sleeping on the floor with no eating facilities or bathrooms. And it's not about the race; Colombians, Mexicans and other South American races were coming over. Our economy cannot support that many people. Plus they were going to give them a bus pass and send them off. Yeah they need help, but they need organized help. Not get off a bus and go get on another to explore.

A) The entire nation’s kind of out of resources to deal with these children and families right now so. I know that the facilities that Health and Human Services are employing are shit. I know that they’re not going to some super-spectacular place. The only difference this protest did was cause them to take a few more hours to go to a facility that’s probably just as shitty and waste more fucking gas and more importantly, their already decreasing time to try to get some permanent status here. 

B) What do you even mean “it’s not about the race”? I do know that all Latinxs don’t share the same race, but this was most definitely an instance of racialization and xenophobia at work. Like, most definitely. Further, while some of the immigrants might’ve been from those countries, they were mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

C) I’m gettin’ real tired of this derailing tactic. Yes, we all know that our economy is not prepared to deal with this amount of children and families. We know that they probably won’t be able to stay due to the limited resources we have in the U.S. That still doesn’t excuse the racist-ass behavior of the Murrieta protestors.

D) I’m also pretty fed up with the way all the children and families are being shuttled around, but unfortunately that’s the way the laws are set up at the moment and this kind of racist protesting isn’t going to change that? KIND, NALACC, the Florence Immigrant Project and other orgs are actively working to try and advocate for these children and ensure that their due process is respected. That’s the way to help out these families and children. Not fucking protesting their entrance into the city because they “don’t belong here” and “are bringing in disease."