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A new line-up surprised Guatemalan Special Police Forces in the protests against the mine at La Puya — women in front, men in back (children and elderly were not in the demonstration).

culturestrike:

Send your own letter to #refugeekids at this link:
theyarechildren.org #activism #art #artists #artivism #art4 #humanrights #iamawitness #immigration #latism #migrantrights #socialjustice #not1more #border #EstamosConLosNinos #TheyAreChildren #uac

ICE detains 11-year-old boy for more than a month before noticing that he is a US citizen

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One of the hundreds of children being held at an immigration detention facility in, New Mexico, was released last week when officials realized the 11-year-old boy was a U.S. citizen [traveling with his mother, who is not]…

In the past nine months, border agents have apprehended roughly 63,000 unaccompanied children—mostly from Central America. That is in addition to single parents with at least one child who have been apprehended as well along the Southwest border. As officials have sped up the processing time and immigration courts are fast-tracking the children’s cases, Laura Lichter—an immigration attorney who has been providing free legal counsel to detainees in Artesia—said the 11-year-old boy’s situation highlights the problems with rushing the cases:

“I think the fact that a U.S. citizen was detained and for this long before anyone actually realized that there was even the possibility that they had detained a U.S. citizen shows you just how little respect and attention is being given to people’s cases,” said Lichter, former president of American Immigration Lawyers Association. “What this shows you is that there really is no due process here and that the system is only working in a way to deport people from the country. It is not working to protect people’s claims.”

This boy’s case is merely one example, but the U.S. should not be lowering the bar on due process protections in the face of challenges posed by the arrival of thousands of children and young families at our southern border as they flee violence in Central America. The expedited process being pursued against the families at Artesia, may in fact be too expedited where speed is taking precedence over fairness and due process.

Photo by Nicolas Alejandro.

As Washington supports Israel’s violence, Latin American heads of state have stood up against the offensive, acting as moral leaders for the hemisphere, and demonstrating their independence from the historically-hegemonic empire to the north.

knelitaz:

Emiliano Zapata

knelitaz:

Emiliano Zapata

~ moving states is taking up most of my time, on hiatus for another week or so ~

Francisco Ramos receives the dead body of his son, Gilberto Francisco, in Guatemala. The youth, aged 15, died a few weeks after attempting to arrive to the US without papers. His father and other family members saw him today (July 11, 2014) for the first time when they left him on May 17 in San José Las Flores, Chiantla, Huehuetenango. Gilberto traveled with the goal of helping his mother, Cipriana Juárez Días, who suffers from epilepsy, and to pay for basic necessities. He studied through third grade, and planted maize and beans with his father. The minor youth’s trip ended in La Joya, just a few kilometers from McAllen, TX, USA, where they found his body. Gilbert arrived in his village today, where he will be mourned and buried. It is estimated that, since 2009, US authorities have detained 28,770 [Guatemalan] minors. At least 2,000 of them have been deported, and the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry does not know the whereabouts of the rest.

(Sandra Sebastián | Pláza Pública, translated by guatepolitics)

ereditaa:

A girl traveling with her mother passes by a mural depicting popular migration routes through Mexico at a shelter in Tenosique, Mexico.

(Meridith Kohut, New York Times)

Can unaccompanied children apply for asylum due to gang violence?

The official government response, as offered by the US Congressional Research Service:

Some UACs could potentially be found to be eligible for asylum as a result of gang-related violence in their home countries, although the existence of such violence is not, in itself, a basis for asylum. Rather, eligibility for asylum is determined on a case-by-case basis, with the
individual alien applying for asylum having the burden of establishing that he/she is unable or unwilling to return to his/her home country because of persecution, or a well-founded fear of persecution, on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Persecution is not defined by either the INA or its implementing regulations, but has been construed to mean “the infliction of suffering or harm upon those who differ (in race, religion or political opinion) in a way regarded as offensive. … [It is] an extreme concept that does not include every sort of treatment our society regards as offensive.” 

Generalized violence or lawlessness may be distinguished from persecution, as may be harms that are not seen as arising from the actions of the government or entities whom the government cannot or will not control. Any persecution must also be “on account of” a protected ground (i.e., race, religion, etc.), a phrase which has been taken to mean that the protected ground serves
as “at least one central reason for the persecution.” 
Those seeking asylum based on gang-related violence have often asserted persecution on account of membership in a particular social group or, less commonly, political opinion (i.e., an actual or imputed political opinion that they are opposed to the gangs). The relevant social group has been defined in various ways—including (1) those who oppose (or are taking “concrete” or “active” steps to oppose) the gangs’ activities; (2) those who resist attempts to recruit them to the gang; (3) former gang members who have renounced their membership; (3) witnesses who have testified against the gangs, and (4) families that have been affected by gang violence—and with various degrees of success.

"Justice is not a quantitative question. If you steal something for long enough it doesn’t become yours"
Kwame Ture (formerly Stokely Carmichael) on settler colonialism (via decolonizehistory)

We don’t need mandatory detention to make children show up in ICE courts (they already do)

As the number of unaccompanied children arriving at the United States border has increased, some lawmakers have argued that children frequently disappear into the woodwork, and propose mandatory detention as a solution. Some say as many as 90 percent fail to attend their immigration court hearings. Yet government data recently published by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) may indicate the opposite. Not only do a majority of children attend their immigration proceedings, according to TRAC, but 90 percent or more attend when represented by lawyers.

Read More

also, just look at how annoyed OPM looks with Obama. None of them are happy, tho…


Barack Obama (third left) speaks as Otto Perez Molina (second left) of Guatemala, Juan Orlando Hernandez (right) of Honduras, and Salvador Sanchez Ceren (left) of El Salvador listen in the Cabinet Room, 25 July 2014. Photograph: Rex




Three Central American leaders met President Obama on Friday to tell him that billions of dollars poured into attempting to prevent migrant children crossing the US border would be better spent addressing the root causes of the crisis in their countries.
The presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador urged the US administration to do more to combat the armed gangs and drug cartels responsible for the violence driving emigration that has seen more than 57,000 unaccompanied children from their countries arrive at the Texas border in recent months. The three leaders – Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras, Otto Pérez Molina of Guatemala and Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador – urged the Obama administration to do more to address the destabilisation caused by cartels shipping narcotics to the American market, and to invest in more rapid economic development to relieve widespread poverty.
But in comments after the meeting, Obama stuck to Washington’s emphasis on a campaign to discourage what the White House called “irregular migration” with publicity campaigns and the pursuit of people smugglers.
"I emphasised that the American people and my administration have great compassion for these children," he said. "But I also emphasised to my friends that we have to deter a continuing influx of children putting themselves at risk."

also, just look at how annoyed OPM looks with Obama. None of them are happy, tho…

Barack Obama (third left) speaks as Otto Perez Molina (second left) of Guatemala, Juan Orlando Hernandez (right) of Honduras, and Salvador Sanchez Ceren (left) of El Salvador listen in the Cabinet Room, 25 July 2014. Photograph: Rex

Three Central American leaders met President Obama on Friday to tell him that billions of dollars poured into attempting to prevent migrant children crossing the US border would be better spent addressing the root causes of the crisis in their countries.

The presidents of GuatemalaHonduras and El Salvador urged the US administration to do more to combat the armed gangs and drug cartels responsible for the violence driving emigration that has seen more than 57,000 unaccompanied children from their countries arrive at the Texas border in recent months. The three leaders – Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras, Otto Pérez Molina of Guatemala and Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador – urged the Obama administration to do more to address the destabilisation caused by cartels shipping narcotics to the American market, and to invest in more rapid economic development to relieve widespread poverty.

But in comments after the meeting, Obama stuck to Washington’s emphasis on a campaign to discourage what the White House called “irregular migration” with publicity campaigns and the pursuit of people smugglers.

"I emphasised that the American people and my administration have great compassion for these children," he said. "But I also emphasised to my friends that we have to deter a continuing influx of children putting themselves at risk."

Oops. I said that Obama went to Central America in that last post, but it was the other way around. Northern Triangle presidents went to the White House.

(corrected original post)

Excerpts from a letter to President Obama signed by more than 500 scholars of Central America (mostly, but not exclusively, based in the US). The letter was delivered just before Central American presidents visited the White House.

Dear Mr. President: 
As scholars of Central America and migration who are familiar with the conditions that cause so many children to flee their homelands, and mindful of the historical relationship between the United States and this region, we call on your administration to treat the “unaccompanied minors” at the border as refugees who are deserving of protection, due process, and humane treatment. We ask that they have access to legal representation by volunteer or government­ funded lawyers, in order for them to be reunited with relatives. Young migrants arriving from the Northern Triangle—Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras—face real and credible threats to their lives and safety in their hometowns. Further, many of them already have parents or other relatives living and working in the United States. Both the conditions of extreme insecurity in their homelands and the hardships of family separation dictate that these youth should be reunited with family members in the U.S. as swiftly as possible….
We want to emphasize that the United States is complicit in the conditions that cause so many to migrate. The reasons are many: U.S. historical support for military dictatorships and regimes of violence in the region; its promotion of free trade agreements and economic policies that have undermined subsistence agriculture and eroded public services, and its increasingly harsh immigration policies and practices that have separated families and deported too many whose livelihoods and security were in the United States. We have an opportunity and a responsibility now to make up for some past mistakes by offering humane treatment and consideration to the new arrivals and swiftly reuniting them with their family members.