Why many thousands of Haitians converged on the US-Mexico border


Source: CNN

Thousands of Haitian migrants have appeared at the US-Mexico border seeking to cross the Rio Grande and find refuge in the US.

Human rights activists are condemning images of US border agents, mounted on horseback, trying to head off migrants almost as if they’re herding cattle. The US special envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, has now resigned to protest the Biden administration’s “inhumane” effort to send them back to Haiti.


UN refugee agency concerned as US deports migrants to southern Mexico


Source: The Guardian

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has expressed concern about a new US practice of transferring asylum seekers and migrants expelled under public health orders by plane to southern Mexico.

Those being expelled may have urgent protection needs and risk being sent back to the very dangers they have fled in their countries of origin in Central America without any opportunity to have those needs assessed and addressed, UNHCR said.


Final destination: For many of the world’s refugees, Mexico is their new home


Source: NBC News

“You arrive very beaten, and you have to learn to transform the pain,” one Nicaraguan said. “That is why I will always be grateful to Mexico for giving me refuge.”

Marian Pérez Guerra, 39, knew when it was time to leave her home country of Nicaragua.

“They started shooting at our house. That’s where we knew we had to leave,” she said, recounting the threats she constantly received following her participation in demonstrations against the government of President Daniel Ortega.


Tents, stench, smoke: Health risks are gripping migrant camp


11/14/19 – AP News

By Nomaan Merchant

A smoke-filled stench fills a refugee camp just a short walk from the U.S.-Mexico border, rising from ever-burning fires and piles of human waste. Parents and children live in a sea of tents and tarps, some patched together with garbage bags. Others sleep outside in temperatures that recently dropped to freezing.

Justina, an asylum seeker who fled political persecution in Nicaragua, is struggling to keep her 8-month-old daughter healthy inside the damaged tent they share. The baby, Samantha, was diagnosed with pneumonia and recently released from a hospital with a dwindling supply of antibiotics.

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UN refugee chief asks Mexico to do more for asylum seekers


10/02/19 – Associated Press

The United Nations’ top official for refugees called on Mexico Wednesday to devote more resources to the country’s badly overtaxed refugee aid agency.

High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement that the number of people seeking asylum in Mexico is only expected to grow as the United States makes it more difficult to seek asylum there.

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Upsurge of Asylum Requests Poses Challenge for Mexico

6/13/19 – Wall Street Journal

By Juan Montes


As Mexico pledges to step up its efforts to stop migrants from crossing its territory to reach the U.S., it is facing an upsurge in asylum requests at its own southern border.

At the offices of the federal refugee agency in Tapachula, near the border with Guatemala, the line of mostly Central American migrants stretches down the street and around the corner. Many arrive at night and sleep on the street to be among the first attended to.

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Poll: Just 30 percent favor stricter asylum rules as Trump calls for tightening restrictions

4/30/2019 – The Hill

© Getty

By Michael Burke

Just 30 percent of Americans support making it more difficult for undocumented immigrants to seek asylum in the U.S., according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll release Tuesday.

The poll’s results were published one day after President Trump called for tighter restrictions on how the U.S. handles asylum cases.

Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed said they support making it easier for undocumented immigrants to request asylum, while 34 percent said they support keeping the law as it currently stands, according to the poll.

The poll also found that 64 percent said they oppose Trump declaring a national emergency to build a wall along the southern border, compared with 34 percent of Americans who say they support that plan.

Trump on Monday ordered new restrictions on asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, including implementing application fees to file for asylum. The order also directed that asylum cases currently in immigration courts be settled within 180 days.

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U.S. alone in opposing U.N. refugee text over sovereignty concerns

11/14/2018 – Reuters

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States was the only country on Tuesday to oppose an annual draft U.N. General Assembly resolution on the work of the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) because it said elements of the text ran counter to the Trump administration’s sovereign interests.

The resolution has generally been approved by consensus for more than 60 years. But this year Washington asked for a vote.

The draft text was adopted by the General Assembly human rights committee with 176 votes in favor, while there were three abstentions and 13 countries didn’t vote. It is now due to be formally adopted by the 193-member General Assembly in December.

U.S. Ambassador for economic and social affairs Kelley Currie told the committee that while the United States valued much of what was contained in the resolution and an attached Global Compact on Refugees, some U.S. concerns were unaddressed.

Caravan won’t end in Mexico. Some migrants will risk trip to US border

04/05/2018 CNN

border3The caravan of Central American migrants going through Mexico to the US border isn’t ending. Instead, its participants will disperse into smaller groups after reaching Mexico City.

While some will stay in Mexico to try to get refugee status there, others will continue north to the US border.

Organizers of the caravan estimate that some 200 or so people will proceed all the way to the US border in the coming days, although the number could be higher. Last year, about 150 went all the way to the border, they said.

Pueblo Sin Fronteras caravan or People Without Borders has organized the event for years. The caravan has always dispersed into separate, smaller groups at some point along the journey. What has been striking is that this year’s event has the largest number of people ever, with more than 1,100.

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Canada still thinks Mexico belongs on its ‘safe country’ list for refugees

06/20/16 Vice News

As the number of refugees and displaced people worldwide reaches a record 65 million, debate continues over whether asylum seekers — especially LGBT people — from countries deemed to be safe, should be granted refugee status abroad.

Several countries in Europe have compiled “safe country of origin” lists, whereby anyone from those countries will likely to be sent home if they try to seek asylum in another country.

In North America, Canada has been relying heavily since 2013 on its safe country list to guide who should be blocked from obtaining refuge, a process the government argues is meant to ensure “genuine” refugees are resettled. And now, Canada is facing fresh criticisms for listing Mexico among its 42 “safe” nations, especially as the LGBT community there and people living with HIV continue to face rampant violence and discrimination.

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