The Trump administration is waging a war on immigrants with many fronts, including: Adopting "zero tolerance" policies at the border, expanding detention, seeking ways to limit legal immigration, making it harder for people to become permanent residents and citizens, and launching a massive review of people who have become naturalized citizens. On all fronts, Trump’s war is being waged using existing policy instruments and institutions. We must acknowledge this reality - as the entire system is deeply flawed.
The bridge across all of our programs is the desire to change United States policies that impact the people we work with. Extreme poverty and vulnerability in Haiti and Nicaragua lead families to make the heartbreaking decision to migrate, to the United States or elsewhere. Our priority is addressing the root causes of migration in Haiti and Nicaragua. At the same time, we believe that we must insist on fair policies in the United States that promote the dignity of migrants. Current priorities:
End Title 42 and Remain in Mexico, and secure asylum once again at our borders
Work in solidarity with migrants traveling in Central America and Mexico
Bring a social justice framework to the United States’ policies that impact our partners in Haiti and Nicaragua, with an emphasis on non-intervention.
Yesterday, ahead of today's 1:00 p.m.
On Tuesday, an employee of Southwest Key (a nonprofit contractor that operates shelters for migrant children, including the now infamous Casa Padre) was arrested for molestation, aggravated assault, and sexual abuse after confessing to touching and kissing a 14-year-old girl at one of Southwest Key’s Phoenix area facilities.
House Resolution 981 calls on the U.S. government to more aggressively employ the Magnitsky Act as a means to sanction individual members of the Nicaraguan government, while also condemning violence in Nicaragua. The stated goal is to support democracy, but the text of the resolution is not based on a balanced accounting of what has transpired in the country over the last three months.
Last Wednesday Trump signed an executive order to end the policy of separating children from families at the border. The order still mandates that children be put in detention with family members, and does not apply to the over 2,300 children who have already been separated in recent weeks - in total, over 10,000 children are currently in detention. Some of these children may never see their parents again.
In an effort to become more effective advocates on questions related to immigration, several team members at the Quixote Center have joined Sanctuary DMV as trained acompañantes. Accompaniment involves showing up to support our immigrant neighbors when they must engage with government authorities - or even private contractors - to comply with their immigration proceedings.
I don't need to repeat all the bad news on immigration this week (although I may do a little of that). Instead, I'll begin by focusing on how grassroots activists, advocacy groups, and even some politicians are organizing to quash the oppressive and inhumane policies being propagated by the executive branch in the name of spurious national security interests.
Since publicly announcing the tactic of separating children from their parents when detained by ICE (including asylum seekers), the government has seen an increase in the number of unaccompanied children they need to house.
“it is not the use of violence that leads to peace. War calls on war, violence calls on violence. I invite all the parties involved and the international community to renew their commitment so that dialogue, justice and peace prevail.” Pope Francis, Audience, May 16, 2018
Below is a “Call to Solidarity” from The Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo (ATC), or Rural Workers Association in Nicaragua in relationship to the current political crisis. As the international media continues to emphasize only the voices of opposition groups, it is important that we work to get out other perspectives on what is happening.