Franciscan Network on Migration demands respect for right of migrants in Mexico

Image: Red Franciscana de Migrantes

English Translation (en Español abajo)

To the Mexican Authorities
To the National Human Rights Commission
To Franciscans International
To all people of good faith

The Franciscan Network on Migration (FNM), as well as various groups and civil organizations defending the human rights of migrants, have monitored the spontaneous detentions and deportations of migrants on August 13, 31 and September 1, 2, 7, 8 2021, carried out to the detriment of people being moved from Mcallen, Texas to Ceibo, at the Guatemalan border, as well as from different places in Mexico such as Villahermosa and Tenosique, Tabasco.

In this sense, those of us with the FNM are concerned about the various human rights violations carried out by the National Institute of Migration and the National Guard in the south of the Mexican Republic, such as persecution, massive detentions, threats, expulsion towards the southern border of Mexican territory as well as the execution of all kinds of violence against migrants regardless of their immigration status, actions aimed not only at violating their rights, but also at criminalizing them.

The immigration policy of detention and expulsion taken by the Mexican government translates into actions that do not take into account the social context of the migrant population, therefore:

  • We condemn the various forms of violence, aggression, mistreatment, family separation, detentions and illegal deportations of migrant women and their families by the National Guard and the National Migration Institute.
  • We demand that the Mexican State respect all the human rights enjoyed by migrants and asylum seekers established both by its Constitution and by various international standards.
  • We demand full respect for the human rights of defenders and journalists, who by their profession monitor and make visible the dramatic migratory situation.
  • We call on the Mexican authorities at all three levels to seek effective responses that protect the human rights of migrants and asylum seekers, as well as those human rights defenders who work with them.

Franciscan Network on Migration

Original press release here

10 de septiembre de 2021

A las Autoridades de mexicanas
A la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos
A Franciscans International
A todas las personas de buena fe

La Red Franciscana para Migrantes (RFM), así como diversos colectivos y  organizaciones civiles defensoras de los derechos humanos de las personas migrantes,  hemos monitoreado desde el 13, 31 de agosto y 1, 2, 7 y 8 de septiembre de 2021, las detenciones y deportaciones en caliente en agravio de las  personas en contexto de movilidad humana desde Mcallen, Texas dirigidas al Ceibo,  Frontera de Guatemala, así como también desde diferentes lugares de México hasta  Villahermosa y Tenosique, Tabasco. 

En este sentido, desde la RFM estamos preocupados por las diversas acciones violatorias de  derechos humanos realizadas por el Instituto Nacional de Migración y la Guardia Nacional en el sur  de la República mexicana, tales como persecuciones, detenciones masivas, amenazas, expulsión  hacia la frontera sur del territorio mexicano así como la ejecución de todo tipo de violencia contra las

personas migrantes sin importar su estatus migratorio, acciones encaminadas no solo a violentar sus  derechos, sino también a criminalizarlos.  

La política migratoria de detención y expulsión tomada por el gobierno mexicano se traduce en  acciones que no toman en cuenta el contexto social de la población migrante, por lo que:

  • Condenamos las diversas formas de violencia, agresiones, maltratos, separación familiar, detenciones y deportaciones ilegales de mujeres migrantes y sus familias por parte de la Guardia Nacional y el Instituto Nacional de Migración.
  • Exigimos al Estado mexicano el respeto de todos los derechos humanos que gozan las personas migrantes y solicitantes de asilo establecido tanto por su Carta Magna, como por los diversos estándares internacionales.
  • Exigimos el respeto pleno de los derechos humanos de las personas defensoras y periodistas, quienes por su profesión monitorean y visibilizan la dramática situación migratoria.
  • Hacemos un llamado a las autoridades mexicanas en sus tres niveles a buscar respuestas efectivas que protejan los derechos humanos de las personas migrantes y solicitantes de asilo, así como de los defensores de los derechos  humanos que trabajan con ellos. 

Red Franciscana para Migrantes

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Statement of CLAMOR on crisis in Southern Mexico



Lic. Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Constitutional President of the United Mexican 

Lic. Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón

Secretaryof Foreign Affairs

Lic. Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez

Undersecretary for Human Rights, Population and Religious Affairs

The Latin American and Caribbean Ecclesial Network on Migration, Shelter, Displacement and Trafficking (CLAMOR) of the Latin American Episcopal Council, which brings together more than 600 Catholic Church organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, has seen in recent days the expansion of the operations of the National Migration Institute and the National Guard in the south of the Mexican Republic in order to contain migrants in the city of Tapachula, Chiapas.

We are aware of a profound migration crisis that is taking place on the southern border of the country, where hundreds of people from the northern countries of Central America, Cuba, Venezuela, and now a considerable number from Haiti, await a favorable resolution to their requests for refugee status, supplementary protection, or access to immigration regularization.

Overcrowding, the lack of hygiene measures, food, basic supplies, coupled with the slowness of resolutions from the National Institute of Migration and the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid, place people in a situation of vulnerability, affecting the exercise of their fundamental rights.

Shelters, migrant houses, and soup kitchens for migrants are saturated and at the limit of their capacity; the efforts of local churches, parishes, and dioceses are being overwhelmed in the absence of a migration policy in accordance with human rights standards, strategic planning, and the scarce or non-existent resources of the Federal Government.

We strongly regret and reject the repressive, violent, and restrictive measures to contain migration on the southern border, particularly in Tapachula. These measures have been implemented on previous occasions with net negative results. For that reason, we call for alternative solutions that go beyond the short-term vision, prioritizing dialogue with migrants and civil society organizations in such a way that they can articulate responses that correspond to their needs and guarantee their human rights.

We see in the recent events at the southern border – the containment of migrants and summary deportations – measures related to the policy of externalization of the border promoted by the United States. The political decisions of both governments affect both the local population and migrants, who are left at an impasse. We are concerned that the only option for regularization of immigration status in Mexico is the application for refugee status and that free passage through the National Territory will be prevented for those who already have a favorable ruling of their legal status in Mexico.

For all of the above, we urge the competent authorities, principally the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Institute of Migration and the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance, to carry out concrete actions to attend to people in the context of mobility, respecting due process and, in this way, avoiding and preventing human rights violations.

Finally, we demand that authorities at all levels respect Article 11 of the Constitution, which enshrines free passage, so that, for those who already have a legal status in Mexico, they are allowed the right to passage through the country in search of options for residence and employment that allow them to live with dignity and access to basic services.

We urge the Mexican government, faithful to its history as a people originating from many migrants, to grant clear signs of hospitality and welcome, and based on the powers granted to it by law, to establish new alternatives to regularization that allow the migrant population to have access to the human rights to which they are entitled by virtue of their dignity as persons, and in this way, contribute their richness of character to their host communities.

This crisis is at the same time an opportunity for the Mexican government to demonstrate regional leadership by responding to the challenge with respect and the guarantee of human rights. Enough with repression, the use of violence, and excessive abuse of authority; these are not just migrants, but also human beings who need an opportunity to live with dignity.

We invite the Mexican government, before repressing and containing migrants, to address the root causes that cause thousands of Mexicans to continue to live through the tragedy of displacement and to face migration in order to seek security and the conditions necessary for life in another territory, which they cannot find in their own country.

As the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean, we feel deeply committed to the welcoming, protection, promotion, and integration of migrant peoples, and we reiterate our commitment to the defense and protection of their human rights. At the same time, we are ready to collaborate with the authorities in order to find humanitarian aid mechanisms coordinated toward solving this profound crisis that is taking place on the Southern border of Mexico.


+ Mons. Gustavo Rodríguez
Archbishop of Yucatán, México Presidente de la Red CLAMOR

+Alvaro Leonel Card. Ramazzini
Bishop of Huehuetenango, Guatemala

+ Mons. J. Guadalupe Torres Campos
Bishop of Cuidad Juárez, Head of the Ministry of Human Mobility Mexico

+ Guido Charboneau
Bishop of Choluteca, Head of the CLAMOR Network in Central America

[Link to original in Spanish]

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The migration crisis in southern Mexico boils over, US policy is making things worse

“What is happening is that human rights are being violated here, refugees are people who left their country because of threats. If we are here it is because we are looking for a better life. People who have papers- they can not take them, put them on a bus and take them to Guatemala, that is a violation of human rights. There are people who have one-year visitor cards, who have residency, who have a document that says Tapachula, Chiapas, those same people are grabbed and taken to Guatemala. That should not be, that is racism, that is a violation of human rights, that is why we are fighting. The caravan is for that, even though we spent a week demonstrating all day, so that we can move around and look for work, because we have to pay for a house, we have to eat, and there are people who are sleeping in the park and are looking for work all day in the rain. Women with children, pregnant women. […] the caravan is because they don’t want to make a decision with us. […] We are looking for a way to get out of Chiapas because in Chiapas there is no way to live because people are treating you like animals, your rights are being violated. So if we are refugees we are fighting so that we can get out and looking for a way to live so that we can eat. ” Haitian migrant statement to the Colectivo de Observación y Monitoreo de Derechos Humanos en el Sureste Méxicano

Over the past several weeks the situation for Haitians and other migrants in southern Mexico has reached crisis proportions. Last week Haitians, many of whom had been stuck in Tapachula, Chiapas for over a year, launched protests in front of Siglo XXI, Latin America’s largest immigrant detention center. On Saturday hundreds of Haitians, joined by others from Venezuela, Central America, and Africa, left Tapachula in a caravan. Motivations varied. Many expressed the intent to reach Mexico City in the hopes of accelerating their asylum cases, and for others, the goal was simply getting out of Tapachula. 

The caravan has repeatedly been met with violence from the INM and from Mexico’s recently (2019) formed National Guard.  

Saturday, the caravan left Tapachula with people walking 41 kilometers northwest to Huixtla. Along the way, some members of the caravan were beaten and arrested. In an interesting article juxtaposing the treatment of Haitian and Central American migrants with the reception given to Afghan refugees also arriving on Saturday, Vice News reporters spoke with a few of the people whose attacks by INM appeared in cell phone footage circulating on social media. 

“If we stay here, we are going to die of hunger, and we will be sleeping on the street,” Theoburn Derino….told VICE World News. He fled Haiti because of violence and political conflict, and had spent a month in Tapachula before trying to make his way to Mexico City. “I just want to find a place where I can work, and where my daughter can sleep peacefully.”   

INM issued a press release condemning some of the actions that had been caught on film. But the attacks did not stop.

Sunday, the caravan continued from Huixtla to Escuintla, and then onto Mapastepec. Along the road near Sesecapa, anti-riot trucks and INM busses were spotted. Then around 3:00 p.m. on the road section between Ruiz Cortínez and Mapstepec, an anti-riot team from the National Guard was mobilized alongside elements of INM and attempted to trap the caravan between temporary fencing. About half were arrested. Some of those who made it to Mapastepec were attacked Tuesday morning, arrested and detained. From Colectivo de Observación y Monitoreo de Derechos Humanos en el Sureste Méxicano (COMDHSM):

In less than 20 minutes, they dismantled the small camp. Those who were not detained sought shelter in houses, premises and the Catholic Church; the elements of GN and INM followed them and, in some cases, entered to apprehend them. Approximately 80% of the people in this group were apprehended, leaving their belongings behind and without knowing their whereabouts.

While the INM was beating and arresting refugees in Mapastepec, the government was proposing establishing “humanitarian camps” for Haitian migrants, and trying to enlist the support of the church office on migration – which opposes this.  The Dimensión Episcopal de Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana (DEPMH) of the Episcopal Conference of Mexico is calling instead for the regularization of migrant status, and respecting their freedom of mobility. Likewise COMDHSM is demanding that the government respect the rights of migrants, and provide humanitarian support. In their statement issued on September 1, 2021, they write:

  • Humanitarian aid is urgent to attend to people, in particular pregnant women, children and adolescents who walk. There is not enough water or food, and the absence of instances that provide medical attention stands out. This is aggravated as people have been walking for several days.
  • We denounce the strong presence of the National Guard, the Mexican Army and the National Migration Institute and their absolutely disproportionate and violent action towards people in order to encapsulate and detain them at different points along the way.
  • We demand the cessation of surveillance, harassment and attacks on human rights defenders and the press
  • There is concern about the impact of these violent detentions on people who also forcibly left their countries seeking protection and a dignified life.
  • We demand an end to the abuse of power and acts of repression against people.

Underlying the crisis is ongoing pressure from the Biden administration on Mexico, as well as countries in Central America, to stop as many migrants from reaching the US/Mexico border as possible. This, coupled with the Biden administration’s new strategy of expelling Central Americans and others via plane to Tapachula and Villahermos under Title 42, most of whom eventually end up being expelled by INM to Guatemala, has created a humanitarian disaster in southern Mexico.

Indeed, the mobilizations over the last week by Hatiain migrants was the result of Haitians with asylum claims pending in Mexico being removed to Guatemala anyway amidst this new wave of expulsions.  

The Mexican government has a backlog of 80,000 asylum claims. The government is being pushed by the United States to limit mobility in order to keep people in Mexico, while also being pressed by a dramatic increase in the numbers of people migrating north as the result of a combination of ongoing political instability and COVID-19 induced economic recession. The result of all of this is that people are forced to wait in cramped, unsanitary conditions for months, and for some over a year.

From Dallas Morning News Spanish editor AlDiaDallas:

Haitians now make up the second largest group of people seeking asylum in Mexico. Only Hondurans have a higher number of claims. Yet, much like in the United States, Haitian claims to asylum in Mexico are denied at a much higher rate than other countries. It is creating an untenable situation for people – who are clearly now desperate to leave Tapachula.

We certainly join in the call for the Mexican government to stop the violence against migrants, and to establish an alternative path for people to regularize migration status. However, we equally denounce the Biden administration’s ongoing support for Title 42 expulsions, the new policy of removals to southern Mexico, and ongoing pressure this administration has asserted on countries from Mexico to Colombia, to detain migrants on their journey north. The administration’s stated goal of creating a “Collaborative Migration Management Strategy” with countries in Central America and Mexico is currently looking more like a coordinated war on migrants than an effort to instill collaborative and humane policy processes.

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Organizations in Mexico and the United States demand an end to expulsions, Title 42

Dozens of non-governmental organizations in Mexico issued a denunciation of the United States and Mexican governments policy of summary expulsions involving migrants from Central America, expelled from the US under Title 42, flown to southern Mexico to be bussed to the border with Guatemala; as well as Haitians summarily expelled from Mexico to Guatemala despite having legal status in Mexico. The Quixote Centered joined with others endorsing the statement. The English translation is presented below. The original Spanish is here.

NGO Statement: We denounce the expulsions by the governments of the United States and Mexico returning migrants, including those seeking international protection, by air and land to Guatemala

August 25, 2021

As a part of our mandate to provide oversight, on August 18th, the Collective of Organizations Monitoring and Observing Human Rights in Southeast Mexico (or Colectivo de Observación y Monitoreo de Derechos Humanos en el Sureste Mexicano, or COMDHSEM by its name in Spanish), alongside organizations belonging to the Transborder Coordination on Migration and Gender (or Mesa de Coordinación Transfronteriza Migraciones y Género, or MTMG by its name in Spanish), together with the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman of Guatemala (Procuraduría de Derechos Humanos de Guatemala), documented the arrival of four flights to the city of Tapachula, Mexico, from the United States and the northern border of Mexico that transported Guatemalans, Hondurans and Salvadorans expelled under Title 42 from the United States. The organizations also documented Haitians transferred and expelled from the southern border of Mexico into Guatemala, without respecting the administrative procedures in either country.

The expelled individuals – families, women with children and adult men and women – were transported mostly from the Tapachula airport in eleven buses of the National Migration Institute (INM), to Talismán, along the border with Guatemala, where they were abandoned on the pedestrian border bridge and forced to leave Mexico.

These flights are part of the measures taken by the Biden administration to accelerate the expulsions of migrants under Title 42, combined with actions taken by the Mexican government to contain and return asylum seekers and refugees. These expulsions, coordinated between U.S. and Mexican authorities, violate international law, lack legal and administrative grounds, and seriously impact the people subjected to them.

One of the expulsion routes identified is carried out by land from the United States to the city of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, where INM agents in Mexico detain expelled individuals. From there, land transfers are made to Hermosillo, Sonora, and then people are transported by air to Tapachula, Chiapas, and again by land, from the Tapachula airport to the border with Guatemala.

In addition, land expulsions of people detained in Mexico’s interior, mainly of Haitian nationality, were documented. We observed that some of these migrants possessed documents that allowed them to remain in Mexico, such as refugee applications before the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR- its Spanish acronym), and even paperwork demonstrating the recognition of their status as refugees. Therefore, their expulsion is totally illegal and arbitrary.

The procedure for entering Guatemalan territory is equally as irregular, without any criteria such as registration, orientation or clear information about the administrative and / or legal processes that people must follow to return to their places of origin or to resume their migratory route.

We are concerned that the United States and Mexican administrations are generating a staggered process of immediate expulsions, denying or omitting the rights of people to access regularization mechanisms, or otherwise, violating the rights of individuals who have already initiated international protection processes.

For this, we DEMAND:

To the governments of Mexico and Guatemala:

  1. Comply with the provisions of International Refugee Law and International Humanitarian Law, ensuring abidance to the principle of non-refoulement, the Best Interest of the Child, the right to listen, and access to information and communication, in the appropriate languages ​​that facilitate access to due process.
  2. Publicly clarify the development of these expulsions and specify under what agreements and legal grounds it was decided to carry them out.
  3. Guarantee that individuals, families, girls, boys and adolescents have access to clear and pertinent information on their rights. In all cases, the greatest protection of children and their families must be sought, based on the principle of the Best Interest of the Child.
  4. Do not condition regularization through refugee status in Mexico as an exclusive figure if the person has expressed interest in requesting protection in another country. 
  5. Respect domestic laws, such as Guatemala’s Migration Code (Decree 44 -2016), so that individuals have access to a regular and dignified stay in the country.
  6. Generate, through the support of shelters, the necessary conditions of care and protection for migrants in Guatemalan territory.
  7. Consult actively with civil society organizations to produce a comprehensive and adequate response to the needs of the migrant population, asylum seekers and refugees.

To the United States government:

  • Rescind the Title 42 order and all versions of its implementation, including lateral flights along the border and flights to southern Mexico.
  • Establish a process at the U.S.-Mexico border that is dignified and respectful of international law, in which unaccompanied families, adults and girls, boys and adolescents, can make their requests for protection immediately. This includes guaranteeing access to ports of entry. 
  • Stand firm in the decision to terminate the “Migrant Protection Protocols” (Remain in Mexico, or MPP) and take all possible steps to put an end to this policy.
  • Continue the processing of people previously subjected to MPP, guaranteeing their stay in the interior of the United States to allow them to continue with their asylum process.
  • Cease pressuring governments of the region to take deterrence or enforcement actions, through the militarization and externalizing of their borders.



Colectivo de Observación y Monitoreo de Derechos Humanos en el Sureste Méxicano

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – Oficina para América Latina y el Caribe, Apostólicas del Corazón de Jesús, Programa de Asuntos Migratorios – UIA,  Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova AC., Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac, Centro de Derechos de las Víctimas de la Violencia Minerva Bello, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Formación y Capacitación (FOCA), Iniciativas para el Desarrollo Humano A. C. (IDEHU), Kaltsilaltik, La 72 Hogar Refugio para Personas Migrantes, Médicos del Mundo – Francia (MdM), Misioneras Combonianas, Red Jesuita con Migrantes – Centroamérica y Norteamérica, Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes (SJM) – Comalapa, Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados – México (JRS), Tzome Ixuk, Mujeres Organizadas, Una Mano Amiga en la Lucha contra el SIDA, Voces Mesoamericanas Acción con Pueblos Migrantes.

Mesa de Coordinación Transfronteriza Migraciones y Género MTMG:

Capítulo Guatemala MTMG

American Friends Service Committee, Oficina Regional para América Latina y El Caribe  (AFSC); Asociación Comunitaria Multisectorial de Monitoreo Comunitario en Salud y Apoyo a Migrantes (ACOMUMSAM); Asociación Consejería Oxlajuj Ix para Centroamérica y México (CAMEX); Asociación Coordinadora Comunitaria de Servicios para la Salud-Guatemala ACCSS; Asociación de Desarrollo Social de Ixcán (ADESI); Asociación de Familiares de Migrantes Desaparecidos de Guatemala (AFAMIDEG); Asociación Lambda; Asociación Pop No’j, Consejo de Juventud para el Desarrollo Ixcoyense  (COJDI); Comisión de Migrantes; Comité Municipal de Migración; Equipo de Estudios Comunitarios y Acción Psicosocial (ECAP); Federación Guatemalteca de Escuelas Radiofónicas (FGER); Gobierno Ancestral; Jóvenes por el Cambio; Mamá Maquin; Médicos del Mundo Francia – España; Mesa Nacional para las Migraciones en Guatemala (MENAMIG);  Molanil K´inal B´e; Pastoral Social La Libertad Cristo de Esquipulas; Pop Noj’; Red  Juvenil Ak´Molam; Mesa Técnica de Migración, Ixcán; Sociedad Civil.

Capítulo México MTMG

American Friends Service Committee, Oficina Regional para América Latina y El Caribe  (AFSC); Centro de Derechos Humanos Oralia Morales; Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova;  Coalición Indígena de Migrantes de Chiapas (CIMICH); Comité de Derechos Humano Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada A.C.; Formación y Capacitación A.C. (FOCA); Iniciativas para el Desarrollo Humano A.C.; Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario (IMDEC); Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración AC (IMUMI); La 72, Hogar – Refugio para Personas Migrantes; Médicos del Mundo Francia – España, Pastoral de Migrantes; Parroquia de Frontera Comalapa; Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes  (SJM); Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados  (SJR), Servicio Pastoral a Migrantes San Martin de Porres (SEPAMI – SMP ); Una Ayuda para ti Mujer Migrante A.C.; Voces Mesoamericanas, Acción con Pueblos Migrantes, A.C. 

Grupo de Trabajo Sobre Política Migratoria-GTPM

Aldeas Infantiles SOS México, I.A.P.; Alianza Américas; American Friends Services Committee; Asylum Access México (AAMX) A.C.; Casa del Migrante Saltillo (Frontera con Justicia A.C.); Centro de Derechos Humanos  Fray Matías de Córdova, A.C.; Coalición Pro Defensa del Migrante de Baja California; Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos; Fundación  Appleseed México, A.C.; DHIA. Derechos Humanos Integrales en Acción, A.C.; FUNDAR Centro de Análisis e Investigación, A.C.; IMUMI Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración; Iniciativa Ciudadana para la Promoción de la Cultura del Diálogo, A.C.; INSYDE Instituto para la Seguridad y la Democracia; M3 Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano; REDIM Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en México; Sin Fronteras, IAP; Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes México; Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados; SMR Scalabrinianas:  Misión para Migrantes y Refugiados; Leticia Calderón, Analista en temas migratorios; Brenda Valdés; Elba Coria; Manuel Ángel Castillo, Investigador; IDC International Detention Coalition (Observadoras). Claudia Martínez Medrano, Jocelín Mariscal Agreda y Melissa A. Vértiz Hernández, Secretaría Técnica.

Grupo Articulador de la Sociedad Civil en Materia Migratoria:

American Friends Service Committee – Oficina Regional América Latina y el Caribe (AFSC); Asociación La Alianza ; Asociación Pop No’j, Asociación LAMBDA, Centro de Estudios de Guatemala -CEG-; Comité Central Menonita Guatemala/El Salvador; Inmigrant Worker Center (IWC- CTI); Equipo de Estudios Comunitarios y Acción Psicosocial (ECAP); Fundación Myrna Mack; Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado de Democrático de Derecho (FJEDD); Instituto Centroamericano de Estudios Sociales y Desarrollo (INCEDES); Red Jesuita con Migrantes –Guatemala a través del Instituto de Investigación y Proyección sobre Dinámicas Globales y Territoriales de la Universidad Rafael Landívar; Mesa Nacional para la Migraciones en Guatemala (MENAMIG); Misioneros de San Carlos Scalabrinianos, Casa del Migrante de Guatemala, Programa de Atención, Movilización e Incidencia por la Niñez y Adolescencia (PAMI); Red por la paz y desarrollo de Guatemala (RPDG). Aracely Martínez, Danilo Rivera y Simón Antonio.

Civil society organizations

  1. Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
  2. Red Mesoamericana Mujer, Salud y Migración
  3. Asociación para el Cambio Social JXC.
  4. Centro de Atención a la Familia Migrante Indígena AC
  5. Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS)
  6. Haitian Bridge Alliance
  7. Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (CEJIL)
  8. Global Labor Justice – International Labor Right Forum (GLJ-ILRF)
  9. Caravana por Los Niños/Caravan for the Children, San Francisco California
  10. Quixote Center
  11. Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim (CMPI)
  12. Movilidades Libres y Elegidas, A.C. (CoLibres) 
  13. Espacio Migrante A.C.
  14. Dignidad y Justicia en el Camino A.C. – FM4 Paso Libre
  16. Oficina en Washington para Asuntos Latinoamericanos (WOLA)
  17. Jewish Activists for Immigration Justice of Western MA Casa del Migrante en Tijuana, A.C.
  18. Haitian Bridge Alliance
  19. Veterans For Peace Chapter 182 Baja Mx
  20. Guatemala Human Rights Commission USA
  21. Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM)
  22. Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
  23. Witness at the Border
  24. National Immigration Law Center
  25. Women’s Refugee Commission
  26. Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos “Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos” (Red TDT)
  27. Asylum -Access México (AAMX) A.C.
  28. Border Line Crisis Center, A. C.
  29. Border Angels
  30. Psicólogos Sin Fronteras BC

Academia and individuals

  1. Carmen Fernández Casanueva, Profesora-Investigadora CIESAS Sureste
  2. Cristian Rojas
  3. Abdel Camargo
  4. Jaime Rivas Castillo
  5. Cristina Roblero
  6. Unitarian Universalist Service Committee 
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From Mexico to Haiti, US immigration policy remains a debacle

In August, the United States began sending Central Americans who had been detained at the US/Mexico border under Title 42 to southern Mexico. There, they were put on buses and taken to the border with Guatemala and dumped. Flights to Tapachula have been taking place near daily for this purpose over the last two weeks, alongside several other flights to Villahermosa in Tabasco. From there people are driven to the border at El Ceibo and expelled.

Earlier this week I spoke with someone who works at La 72 shelter in Tenosique, Tabasco. She had just been to the one shelter in El Ceibo on the Guatemala side of the border that has been receiving people expelled from Mexico. While there, she interviewed several people who had arrived on a removal flight and then been bussed to the border.

One family, a woman and her daughter, had come to the United States to reunite with the father and a sibling. The father and child arrived just before COVID-19 border restrictions took effect last year. They applied for asylum, and were paroled out pending review. When the mother and sister arrived at the US border, their experiences were far different, under Title 42. They were held at a Border Patrol station for five days – in one of the infamous “hieleras” (“coolers”). They were then put on a plane they thought was taking them to another detention facility in the United States. Told nothing, they found themselves in an airport in Villahermosa, then a bus to El Ceibo. While in custody, they requested asylum and were told that it was not available to them.

The denial of asylum, while refusing to explain to people what is happening to them, has been the norm under Title 42. The emphasis in the original CDC order was rapid expulsion. The logic, such as it was, being that the United States lacked the capacity to detain and test people in a manner that was safe. Thus, people were to be removed so quickly that the average time between encounter and expulsion for most people during the Trump period of Title 42 was reportedly two hours. Under Department of Homeland Security guidance for implementing the policy, people encountered by Border Patrol were not to be taken to a regular detention facility at all and only moved by vehicle if separation between migrants and Border Patrol personnel could be maintained. Under these rules, there is no space for asylum claims, or even, apparently, explanation to people about what is happening to them.

From a public health perspective, this is all theater. People are being detained (and yes, those conditions are not safe), for days anyway, before being put on planes – where segregation between those being removed and staff is not really possible. The risk of exposure to COVID-19 in these conditions is actually very high, as Immigration and Customs Enforcement has done a really bad job at managing COVID-19 in its facilities. There is currently a renewed outbreak of the delta variant among those in ICE custody  (see here, here and here for examples), including those placed in staging areas while awaiting removal. For over 18 months now, ICE deportations and removal operations have contributed to the spread of COVID-19 around the world. It is still happening. So, in the name of public health, the Biden administration is maintaining a policy that actually increases the risks of COVID-19 spread. 

Haiti removals amidst crises

The reader may recall that starting back in February the Biden administration was expelling people from Haiti at an alarming rate. In the space of two months, Biden expelled more Haitians than Trump had during the previous fiscal year (2020). By June this year, Haiti was facing an explosion of COVID-19 cases – the worst since the pandemic started. While the timing corresponded to a new wave of infections throughout Latin America, Haiti had to that point gotten off fairly easily, all things considered. Though testing was clearly limited, by the spring of 2021, Haiti had the lowest mortality rate from COVID-19 in the region. Following the massive removals, that all changed. Coincidence? Perhaps, but certainly the link between these expulsions and the dramatic increase in COVID-19 infections is not far-fetched. After all, it is not as though Haiti’s tourist industry would be driving infections, as happened in Mexico this summer.

COVID-19 Deaths in Haiti

Whatever the case, we joined others, led by the Haitian Bridge Alliance, UndocuBlack and Family Action Network Movement (FANM), in denouncing these removals as unsafe and a violation of human rights. Biden never completely relented — pausing removals briefly, but always restarting them. Then President Moïse (July 7) was assassinated, and it seemed like there would be a reprieve. But it did not last either. 

During the second week of August, the United States sent two deportation flights to Haiti. This happened despite an ongoing security crisis that decision makers in Washington D.C. are well aware of — not least because the president had just been gunned down at his own residence. None of those on the flights were so called “criminal removals.” They were all being expelled from the border under Title 42 – including at least one child under two years of age. 

Two days after the second flight, an earthquake struck the southern peninsula of Haiti, killing over 2,000 people and injuring 12,000. 

For now, flights to Haiti have been halted again — for how long, we do not know. A public commitment to stop expulsions to Haiti has not been issued. Back in 2016, when Hurricane Matthew devastated the same part of Haiti struck by last weekend’s earthquake, the Obama administration halted deportations to Haiti…for two weeks. Biden needs to do better.

Fierce urgency of now

Whether it is dumping Central Americans in Mexico’s southern states without explanation, or removing Haitians to a country on the brink of collapse, Biden’s moves under Title 42 are a disaster. If Biden’s commitment to this lousy policy is the desire to maintain a “deterrent,” it is not working. The push factors are too great.

COVID-19 has wrecked the economies of Latin America. In Central America, this has been compounded by hurricanes, and ongoing political crises in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Even Nicaragua, which has not been the source of much migration north, is seeing numbers increase while the United States expands sanctions against the Sandinista government. Migration from Cuba is on the rise, and Haitians from Brazil and Chile are on the move again, as economic woes have been met with racist and xenophobic backlashes in both countries. Venezuela remains the source of a mammoth regional migration crisis —the roots of which are impossible to separate from US sanctions there (even if the media has managed to do so). 

So far, Biden has met this new reality with the same draconian approach as Trump. For all of the fanfare about the end of the Migrant Protection Protocols (which might be brought back by Court order), and renewed TPS for Haiti in July (positive moves to be sure), the underlying policy infrastructure of the Biden administration remains Trump’s: A reliance on Title 42 as a workaround to deny asylum and deter migration; increase in the use of removals further and further south, making it hard for people to try to re-enter the US, while also violating every public health rationale the Title 42 policy was supposed to be based on; and the maintenance of a regional dragnet of enforcement agreements to keep people away from the United States/Mexico border.

Nevertheless, migration to the United States is increasing and it is likely going to continue to increase, since this increase has little to do with US border policy. People are fleeing impoverishment and violence, and the sources of both have gotten worse over the past 18 months, especially in Central America and the Caribbean. If the United States is serious about addressing the “roots” of this migration it will have to dig much deeper than the current regurgitation of neo-liberal bromides that Biden has thus far promoted as “new” policy.

In the meantime, at the border we will continue to encounter human beings seeking safety, work, and shelter. The people arriving at our border are not the enemy. They have been forcibly displaced. It is very possible to process people in an orderly fashion that extends to them the legal protections to which they are entitled. It is possible to do all of this in a way that maintains an equal, if not far greater, commitment to public health than is currently being done. 

The time to start doing that is now.

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JPIC Franciscan Family of Honduras Statement on Free Trade Zone Law

Photo: Protest in Roatan against the ZEDE project “Honduras Prospera”. Citizen photography, originally in El Faro

[The Justice Peace and the Integrity of Creation Committee of the Franciscan Family of Honduras is a fellow member of the Franciscan Network on Migration. The new free trade zone law in Honduras continues the current government’s pattern of providing open access to Honduras’ natural resources and exploitation of workers. Speaking out against such “reform” is crucial. This kind of liberal investment environment, promoted as a means to address the “roots of migration,” will likely make things worse in the long run by dislocating communities and undermining labor.]


“We reject the expropriation of the common home” 

Monday, July 12, 2021, Santa Rosa de Copán To all the Honduran people:

The Franciscan Commission on Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC), faced with the problematic situation confronting the Honduran nation in light of the imposed law of the so-called “Zones of Employment and Economic Development ”(ZEDES), sees a proposal that affects territorial sovereignty and the Rights of Peoples, the care of biodiversity, ecosystems and hydrographic basins; it also deteriorates democracy, nullifies citizen participation and increases the impoverishment of households, including that of native peoples and the rural population.

The magisterium of the church in numeral 2420 of the Catechism states: “The church expresses a moral judgment, in economic and social matters,’when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls demand it’ (GS 76,5).” Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato Si, expresses that, This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will[…]This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22).”

Considering that the Bicentennial of Independence is celebrated this year, we ask our representatives (diputados) to imitate the founders and heroes of this nation, who fought and defended our territory against colonialism and illicit and dishonorable forms of appropriation by ill-intentioned and unscrupulous people against the common good.

Therefore, we express our feelings:

  1. We are concerned about the rights of indigenous peoples who are being violated, threatened and dispossessed, which makes them lose their territories, their livelihoods and their culture.
  1. We reject the decision taken by the National Congress and ratified by the Judiciary, which violates popular sovereignty, and all this again shows the interest of a political and economic class that is taking over the property of the common home in Honduras.

  2. We reject the neo-colonialism of the government, which hands over control with treachery, premeditation, malice and advantage, and without prior consultation with the sovereign Honduran people.
  1. We strongly demand that the National Congress nullify said law, since it is not legitimate, valid or lawful.
  2. We join the courageous mayors, Dioceses, parishes, institutions, professional associations, Universities (UNAH), CNA, ASONOG, FOSDEH, indigenous peoples in resistance (Garífunas, Lencas, Chortis), and many more who have raised their voices against this unpatriotic, harmful and exclusive project.
  1. We call on all brothers and sisters to join us in opposing this project to the detriment of the nation, so that the sovereignty, peace and integrity of our Honduran territory prevail.

The Franciscan JPIC invites the Honduran people, and especially young people “to be God’s today”, as Pope Francis expresses it in Christus Vivit # 64; to be the present and the future of the nation, being people who propose solutions or are active subjects of the transformation of the current reality, and in whose adulthood may well enjoy contributing to the nation.

“Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth, 
who sustains us and governs us and who produces 
varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.”
Saint Francis of Assisi

The original untranslated statement in Spanish is available here.  

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A Franciscan Family Response to Eta and Iota: Psychosocial Intervention in Shelters

In December, the Quixote Center delivered funding to one of our partners in the Franciscan Network on Migration for a project called “Psychosocial Intervention in Shelters: A Response to Eta and Iota.”

To understand how this work addresses and supports migrants, it is important to take a step back and consider factors that drive mass migration. The immediate causes of migration are varied, but weather and other disasters have driven many large-scale migrations. Hurricane Mitch is well known to the friends of the Quixote Center, given the massive impact it had in Nicaragua. Neighboring Honduras experienced dramatic upheaval as well. Within the country, a study published six year later showed that more than 90% of the working-age population was living in a municipality different from the one in which they had been born. More than 80,000 Hondurans who sought safety abroad have been granted Temporary Protected Status in the United States since Mitch.

When hurricanes Eta and Iota swept through Central America in November 2020, the effects were likewise devastating and Honduras was flooded in several regions. Many displaced families ended up in congregate settings such as shelters and the effects of such trauma in childhood can be especially serious. While immediate physical needs were being met, there were also attending risks of both unaddressed emotional trauma and further victimization that frequently target vulnerable populations. 

Raquel Rodas, a Honduran leader in the Franciscan Network and a trained psychologist, worked together with a team to elaborate a project to address and mitigate some of these risks. Recruiting and training advanced undergraduate students in psychology from the National Autonomous University of Honduras, there were two key elements:

  • 48 volunteers facilitated a total of 45 workshops spread out over 15 days at 5 shelters, reaching 280 children. Each child participant received a kit designed for therapeutic “play” activities as well as meals.
  • Created and printed posters that were installed in each of 13 shelters, detailing types of abuse and report hotline numbers as well as public health information.

Check out the project’s “Transparency Portal” to see a photo gallery and additional documentation and video testimonials in Spanish.

Click here to support the Franciscan Network on Migration to make future projects and initiatives possible.  

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Franciscan Network on Migration Participates in UN Dialogue on Human Rights of Migrants

One June 24, 2021 the Advisory Committee of Franciscan Network on Migration collaborated with Franciscans International and together with 30 other organizations (including the Quixote Center) to make a joint Declaration on the harsh reality faced by migrants in Mexico, Guatemala and the United States. The statement as delivered by Ana Victoria López Estrada is below in English and Spanish.

47th Session of the Human Rights Council

Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants

23 June 2021
Delivered by: Ana Victoria López Estrada

Thank you Madame President,

We thank the Special Rapporteur for his report on “pushbacks” and their impact to the human rights of migrants.

We agree with the Special Rapporteur that the principle of non-refoulement is characterized by its absolute nature without any exception. However, we are concerned that the practice to return migrants is performed without an individual assessment and in contexts of militarization of borders, particularly in the United States, Mexico and Guatemala.

We have witnessed an excessive increase of military and security personnel in migratory verification and control tasks.

From June 2019 to December 2020, the military and the Mexican National Guard detained 152.000 migrants on the southern border, including 27.000 children.3 In Guatemala, the Border Patrol has detained and immediately returned migrants, especially during the “caravans” in September 2020 and January 2021, without allowing them to request international protection. These detentions and returns are made with an excessive, arbitrary, and indiscriminate use of force. For these reasons, we are concern by current negotiations between the United States, Mexico and Guatemala on increasing the militarization of their borders. 

Finally, there are hostilities, harassment, surveillance, defamation and aggressions against human right defenders, shelters and spaces supporting migrants, even during the pandemic.

It is urgent that the Council calls on Mexico, the United States and Guatemala to comply with their international obligations and to stop detaining and returning migrants and asylum seekers.

Thank you Madam President.

47° Sesión del Consejo de Derechos Humanos

Diálogo Interactivo con el Relator Especial de los derechos humanos de los migrantes

23 Junio 2021

Presentada por: Ana Victoria López Estrada

Gracias Sra. Presidenta,

Agradecemos el reporte del Relator Especial sobre las “devoluciones en caliente” y su impacto en los derechos humanos de las personas migrantes.

Coincidimos con el Relator en el carácter absoluto e incondicional del principio de no devolución. Sin embargo, nos preocupa que las devoluciones de personas migrantes se realizan de forma masiva sin una evaluación individual y en contextos de militarización de las fronteras, particularmente en Estados Unidos, México y Guatemala.

Somos testigos de un aumento excesivo de las fuerzas armadas militares y de seguridad, en tareas de control y verificación migratoria. De junio de 2019 a diciembre de 2020, las Fuerzas Armadas y la Guardia Nacional Mexicana detuvieron a 152 mil personas migrantes en la frontera sur, incluidos 27 mil niños y niñas.1 En Guatemala, la Patrulla Fronteriza ha detenido y deportado de inmediato a personas migrantes, especialmente durante las “caravanas” de septiembre de 2020 y de enero de 2021, negándoles el derecho a buscar protección internacional. Estas detenciones y devoluciones se hacen con un excesivo, arbitrario e indiscriminado uso de la fuerza. Por eso nos preocupa las negociaciones entre Estados Unidos, México y Guatemala de incrementar la militarización de las fronteras.2

Por último, hay una intensa hostilidad, acoso, vigilancia, difamaciones y agresiones en contra de personas defensoras de las personas migrantes; así como de albergues y espacios de atención a personas migrantes incluso durante la pandemia.

Es urgente que este Consejo exija a los gobiernos de México, Estados Unidos y Guatemala a cumplir con sus obligaciones internacional y abstenerse de continuar con las detenciones y devoluciones de migrantes y solicitantes de asilo

Gracias Sra. Presidenta.

Organizations / Organizaciones

  1. Asamblea Ciudadana contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad – ACCI

  2. Acción Ecuménica por los Derechos Humanos(AEDH)

  3. Asistencia Legal por los Derechos Humanos A.C. (ASILEGAL)

  4. Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Francisco de Vitoria O.P” A.C

  5. Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova A.C.

  6. Colectiva Luna Celaya

  7. Colectivo de Observación y Monitoreo de Derechos Humanos en el Sureste Mexicano

  8. Congregations of St. Joseph

  9. Dominicans for Justice and Peace

  10. Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación (ERIC-SJ)

  11. Franciscans International

  12. Frontera con Justicia A. C. [Casa del Migrante Saltillo]

  13. Fundación Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual.

  14. Grupo belga ‘Solidair met Guatemala’

  15. Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology

  16. JPIC Familia Franciscana – Guatemala

  17. JPIC HFIC Provincia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

  18. JPIC México- Hogar Franciscano

  19. Kino Border Initiative

  20. La 72, Hogar-Refugio para personas migrantes

  21. Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc.

  22. Peace Brigades International

  23. Programa de Asuntos Migratorios Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México

  24. Protección Internacional Mesoamérica

  25. Quixote Center

  26. Red Franciscana para Migrantes en Centroamérica, México y Estados Unidos

  27. Red Jesuita con Migranres Centro Norteamérica (RJM-CANA)

  28. Red Jesuita con Migrantes – Guatemala

  29. Red Jesuita con Migrantes LAC

  30. Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos “Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos” – México

  31. Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados

  32. Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

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US Migration Policy Under Biden: Signs of Hope and Cause for Concern

As a candidate Biden promised, and seemed poised early on, to chart a new path toward a more people-centered reform agenda.  As president he has taken many hopeful steps, but still leans on deterrence and criminalization to a degree that is concerning.

Biden entered the presidency prepared to take quick action on immigration. His very first day in office, the administration announced a moratorium on most deportations, new enforcement guidelines for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and halted new enrollments in the controversial Migration Protection Protocol (“Remain in Mexico” program). During the first week new legislation was introduced to provide a path to citizenship for unauthorized migrants living in the United States, expand support to Central America to address the “roots of migration” and re-write visa rules for temporary workers. 

Several signs suggest hopeful change in policy toward refugees and asylum-seekers: 

The Migration Protection Protocol (MPP) has been formally ended

MPP was one of Trump’s more controversial policies. People seeking asylum in the United States were forced to wait in Mexico for their asylum hearings, ultimately just over 70,000 people. Beginning in April of 2020 these hearings were suspended because of COVID-19. By the time Biden took office, some families had been waiting over two years in Mexico. Human Rights First documented 1,300 victims of violent crimes among those forced to wait in Mexico under MPP. 

Following the decision to halt new enrollments in the program in January of 2021, Biden’s new border policy team established a screening process to get people with asylum claims out of the temporary and often dangerous camps and shelters they had been living in, and into the United States to await their hearings. As of May, most of those who still had asylum claims under MPP had been admitted. In June, MPP was formally ended.

Biden’s Attorney General overturns Sessions efforts to limit grounds for asylum

In 2018, Donald Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, instituted new rules that limited the grounds upon which one could seek asylum. Sessions targeted people who were fleeing violence perpetrated by non-state actors, under the general claim that if people were not fleeing political persecution they would not qualify as refugees. In separate rules, he limited the ability of women fleeing domestic violence to qualify for asylum, and denied asylum to those fleeing gang violence. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland overturned these rules last week, reversing decisions Session had made in cases involving asylum claims from Guatemala and Mexico. From Reuters: “The significance of this cannot be overstated,” said Kate Melloy Goettel, legal director of litigation at the American Immigration Council. “This was one of the worst anti-asylum decisions under the Trump era, and this is a really important first step in undoing that.”

Central American Minors Program reinstated/expanded

In 2015 the Obama administration established a program that allowed children from Central America to apply for asylum while still in their home country, before risking a dangerous journey through Mexico and an uncertain future at the border. The program was widely viewed as a promising step, but was never able to process enough children – leading to a massive backlog of applications. When Trump became president, he cancelled it – leaving 2,700 children already approved in limbo.

In March 2021, the Biden administration re-opened the Central American Minors Program (CAM), which specifically seeks to reunite children in Central America with a parent in the United States. The first phase of the program was revisiting applications that were in process at the time Trump ended the program in 2017. Last week, CAM was expanded to take on new applications.

In the face of all this good news, it is still important to point out where work remains to be done. These are some areas that offer cause for concern:

Title 42 enforcement remains a huge problem

In March of 2020 the Centers for Disease Control and Protection issued an order citing authority to limit migration under Title 42 of the U.S. code on public health grounds. As a result, the Trump administration had been denying everyone encountered at the border a chance to seek asylum – including unaccompanied children. People thus denied, have been summarily expelled – most into Mexico. Biden has continued to employ Title 42 to expel most people encountered at the border. Even here, there are a few rays of light, as the administration has ended the expulsion of children, and slowed the expulsion of families. Until Title 42 is ended, however, it will remain the primary hurdle facing people seeking asylum in the United States.

The message remains: Don’t Come

As a candidate and since taking office, the administration has focused on undoing Trump-era border policies that closed off avenues to asylum. This is an important effort, still incomplete as indicated by Biden’s continued enforcement of Title 42. 

But every step along the way, Biden and Harris have repeated the same refrain – “Don’t come to the United States.” Throughout the spring, US embassies in Haiti and Central America were posting memes of Biden telling people not to come to the United States. During a press conference in Guatemala in June, Kamala Harris said, “I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come….The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border.”

In addition to the continued use of Title 42 already mentioned, those who do make it across the border are also being increasingly redirected to detention facilities. The number of immigrants being held in detention has ballooned from 14,000 to 24,000 since Biden took office. Though 14,000 was an historically low number, the direct result of Trump closing off the border in 2020, the increase in detention over the last few months is the clearest indication that Biden remains committed to a punitive framework for addressing migration. With so many people displaced due to poverty, violence, and other systemic injustices and the US in a privileged position to provide support, such policies must change. 


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Statement on the Killing of Franciscan Friar in Mexico

On June 12, 2021, Fray Juan Antonio Orozco Alvarado, O.F.M., a Franciscan friar, headed to church to celebrate Mass in Tepehuana de Pajaritos, Durango, Mexico and was caught in crossfire between two rival gangs and died, along with several other unnamed persons. As part of our work with the Franciscan Network on Migration, we are sharing the statement put out by the advocacy team on this killing. The Statement is available in both English and Spanish below.




For some press coverage on the shooting, see these articles below:

Vatican News: Muerte violenta de un sacerdote junto a otras personas

El Universal: Muere misionero en fuego cruzado en Durango

Agenzia Fides: Priest killed in a shootout between drug trafficking cartels


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Contact Us

  • Quixote Center
    P.O. Box 1950
    Greenbelt, MD 20768
  • Office: 301-699-0042

Directions to office:

6305 Ivy Lane, Suite 255. Greenbelt, MD 20770

For public transportation: We are located near the Green Belt metro station (green line)