Alianza Americas Statement to the United Nations Global Compact on Migration

Alianza Americas Statement to the United Nations Global Compact on Migration

February 22, 2018

Alianza Americas is a network of over 50 immigrant organizations from Latin America living in the US. We are members of the Global Coalition of Migrant. We represent the interests of immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Our members are migrant led organizations that represent over one hundred thousand families.

We want to acknowledge and congratulate your work as Co-Facilitators reflected in the Zero Draft. We are looking forward to a Compact that will have a direct impact in our lives and those of our families, by establishing a framework protective of rights, which guides the adoption of public policies and legislation, and the actions of national and local authorities.

We wish to present the following elements for your consideration:

  • The need to incorporate and acknowledge the factors and contexts that drive migration, which include climate change and natural and human-made disasters, along with armed conflicts, generalized violence and massive violations of human rights
  • Migration flows are mixed and there is a need to establish a necessary complementarity and dialogue between instruments and institutions that oversee migration and those that protect refugees and others. This complementarity must be reflected in the inclusion in this Compact of the principle of non refoulement
  • A perspective that views migrants not only in terms of their economic agency and contributions, but also as human beings. We migrants, are mothers, fathers, children and grandchildren, we have dreams and ambitions and just like all of you, we are searching for opportunities and conditions that enable us to achieve our life´s projects, hence the need for the Compact to include:
    • Non-criminalization of irregular migration and enforcement through means other than detention
    • Development of pathways for regularization, considering working options, education opportunities, the unity of the family, economic contributions, social and cultural participation, among others.
    • Due process guarantees in immigration procedures that take into consideration our years of residence in the country, our social, economic and cultural contributions, our children´s rights, and the protection of the family when sanctioning us with a deportation, removal or expulsion order
    • Access to services regardless of migratory status, that allow us and our children to educate ourselves, to have access to health care and to seek protection when we have been the victims of a crime -including gender-based violence-, and to seek justice and protection of our rights -including labor rights, thus we need firewalls. We need the certainty that our data will not be shared with immigration authorities. We want to trust the State.
    • Conditions that allow us to contribute and participate in our societies of origin, maintaining a relationship with our States, and enabling them to offer us the assistance and consular services that we need
    • And finally: concrete actions to fight against discrimination, racism and xenophobia that allow us to be full members of our countries of origin and of those where we are living.