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.

Signatories

Colectives

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
  15. ELCA-AMMPARO
  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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