For Immediate Release
US Immigrant Rights Leaders to Lead Talks with Central American Counterparts to Find Solutions to Immigrants Fleeing Their Homeland
(915) 525 2434
Delegation to Guatemala and Mexico Centers Around Finding Solutions Based on Human Rights for Immigrants Fleeing Homeland
WASHINGTON August 1, 2019 – The Refuge for Families coalition will begin a five-day delegation trip Aug. 3 to Guatemala and Mexico to engage with local human rights advocates and government officials helping migrants against increased repressive policies along their route north.
The purpose of this fact-finding mission is: to assess the situation for migrants fleeing their homeland; document and advocate for better conditions and treatment for those embarking on this journey at a time when the Trump Administration continues to pressure Mexico and Central American countries into serving as an extension of U.S. immigration enforcement.
“When political instability, climate change, and violence are hammering families in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, migrants need support and ways to resolve conditions in their own countries – not punishment,” said Oscar Chacón, executive team member for Refuge for Families and co‐founder and Executive Director of Alianza Americas. “Thanks to our ability to be on the ground and the relationships we have with local civic society organizations, we will witness the conditions migrants have had to endure as well as learn about the causes that led people to flee their countries directly from migrants themselves.”
Chacon will be among other immigration experts in this delegation, including Sulma Arias, Immigration Field Director for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM).
“It is imperative that we speak to those who are fighting to uphold human rights along the migration route to come up with just solutions,” Arias said.
Other delegation participants include Nana Gyamfi, Executive Director for the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), and Sarai Portillo, Executive Director for the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ).
The first leg of the trip will take place in Guatemala and will include a visit a local human rights organization fighting in key human rights cases and forced displacement, and another organization that represents victims in a variety of legal situations, including cases related to the Maya Ixil genocide.
According to the U.S. government’s own reports, Guatemala is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. The country has one of the highest rates of homicides in the world and women face extremely high rates of murder and sex trafficking.
The stop in Guatemala will also include a visit with Jordán Rodas, Guatemala’s Human Rights Ombudsman, as well as another organization that works to achieve the full inclusion of the population of sexual diversity in Guatemalan society. The delegation will also visit a shelter in Tecun Uman, Guatemala.
In Mexico, the delegation will visit a detention center in Tapachula, Mexico which has become ground zero for migrants crossing the border heading north to the United States.
The Mexican government recently deployed 6,500 members of the National Guard to the Tapachula area as a response to the Trump Administration’s call on Mexico to halt the flow of migrants as they head north to the U.S.
If interested in participating in the trip or interviews with delegation participants contact Susana Flores (915) 525 2434 firstname.lastname@example.org.