Central American Deportation Raids a National Disgrace

PressRelease

PRESS STATEMENT                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, May 13, 2016                              Contact person: Amy Shannon, (708) 404-6801/ashannon@alianzaamericas.org

Latino Immigrant Alliance Condemns Obama Administration Announcement that It Will Deport Hundreds of Women and Children to Imminent Danger.

Chicago, IL – Alianza Americas and its members across the country strongly condemn the Obama Administration’s plans to conduct raids to round up and deport hundreds of immigrant mothers and children. The administration announced this week another round of raids on the homes of Central American families who have sought refuge in the United States from violence and insecurity in the region. This announcement comes on the heels of reports from the northern triangle countries indicating unsurpassed levels of violence in El Salvador and Honduras, including extrajudicial killings by state security forces.

 

The northern triangle countries are currently among the most violent in the world. A toxic mix of gangs and organized crime, combined with corrupt law enforcement and high levels of impunity for perpetrators of violence, have led tens of thousands of Central American children and families to flee this region. The systemic lack of economic and social opportunities for a dignified way of life compounds the urgency for many to leave.

 

Alianza Americas’ executive director, Oscar Chacon, had the following reaction to this new round of raids targeting Central American children and families:

 

The raids against the homes of Central American mothers and children are a disgrace and a violation of our moral obligations to protect the victims of violence. The horrible circumstances that have pushed so many children and families out of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador over the past few years constitute a humanitarian crisis.

 

The UN Refugee Agency, the world’s expert on forced migration, has found that 58 percent of unaccompanied children may qualify for refugee status. Many vulnerable families find themselves with orders of deportation due to lack of adequate legal representation, combined with a system that is clearly failing to meet its international protection obligations. We have an urgent moral imperative to provide support and protection to those children and families. Given the fact that political asylum has proven to an inadequate mechanism to protect the majority of these children and families, President Obama should grant them Temporary Protected Status or other forms of administrative protection.

 

Instead of wasting tax-payer dollars on raids that will send mothers and children back to an imminent threat of harm or even death, we should focus on protecting them here, and on making sure that the funds already appropriated by the US Congress for addressing the urgent social and economic needs of the region are deployed in a transparent and participatory manner that actually makes a difference in the lives of people in Central America. In addition to a humanitarian disaster, deporting families in the current context undermines the United States foreign policy goals for the region.

 

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