The violence in Haiti is untenable. Gang violence in Haiti has killed over 1,230 people between July and September of this year alone. In response, the United Nations, with U.S. leadership, has authorized Kenya to deploy troops on the ground. This U.S.-backed police intervention will only escalate the violence, and more violence is never the solution. Click HERE to tell your members of Congress to take these five, concrete steps for peace.
The bridge across all of our programs is the desire to change United States policies that impact the people we work with. We work to influence US policies that exacerbate extreme poverty and vulnerability in Haiti and Nicaragua. We also know that extreme poverty and vulnerability 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 advocate for fair policies in the United States that promote the dignity of migrants. Current priorities:
- Ensure full and safe access to asylum for those seeking safety in the United States.
- Divest from broken systems of immigration detention & deportation, and invest in humane solutions and community-welcoming.
- Bring a social justice framework to U.S. policies that impact our partners in Haiti and Nicaragua, with an emphasis on non-intervention.
During the last two weeks of February, the Quixote Center was involved in actions of solidarity for Dreamers and the people of Honduras. I attended the Honduras Awareness Tour (Feb. 22) and the Catholic Day of Action for Dreamers (Feb. 27) and was equally moved by both events that called us to be a catalyst for change. Below are my reflections on these experiences.
Honduras Awareness Tour
Temporary Protected Status holders increasingly fear they will not be permitted to remain in the United States. Within the last year the Trump administration has terminated TPS for four out of the 10 designated countries. This week TPS for El Salvador was terminated, impacting over 260,000 people who have lived in the U.S. for over 17 years. TPS holders and supporters continue to press for a permanent, legislative solution. In support of this effort we continue our series on TPS; this week with a profile of Nepal.
The Nicaragua Investment Conditionality Act of 2017 could see action in the U.S. Senate in the coming weeks. The “NICA” Act directs U.S.
In November, I traveled to the School of the Americas’ (SOA) Encuentro Watch to learn more about immigration and the demilitarization of the US-Mexico border. Upon arrival, I was picked up from the Tucson airport and driven to US District Court Pro SE Office in Tucson, Arizona. This courthouse is noteworthy, because it is one of the three courts in the country that utilizes Operation Streamline.
Many of us we were taught in elementary school that Christopher Columbus was a brave Italian explorer who first discovered the Americas. We remember him as a hero and for this reason honor him with his own day, Columbus Day. However, this provides a white washed, ethnocentric version of United States’ history. Upon examining the true root of the holiday and the factual history, we discover Columbus Day celebrates, and honors the colonization of the Americas, and the genocide and ethnocide of the indigenous peoples.
The Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act (NICA Act) is a congressional bill introduced in July 2016. The NICA Act focuses on limiting long term aid to Nicaragua from financial institutions such the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank due to the Nicaraguan government’s restrictions on transparent elections and limitations on political freedoms (i.e. political opposition parties).
On March 2, 2016, internationally recognized Indigenous and Honduran social movement leader Berta Caceres was murdered following an intense struggle against the Agua Zarca Dam in Honduras. Berta was the General Coordinator of the Indigenous Lenca organization COPINH and national Honduran social movement leader against the 2009 SOA-graduate led coup in Honduras and the resulting US-backed and financed repressive regimes. She received constant death threats, surveillance, and repression. Despite all the threats, Berta refused to be silent. Demand justice for her death today!
The tone of the conversation about reforming the Catholic Church has shifted dramatically since the Benedict years. Pope Francis has managed to completely change the dynamic of the Church's relationship with its followers and the broader world community. Many folks who have been working for years to bring social justice issues to the front of the Vatican's agenda are inspired to hear messages from the Pontiff that affirm their efforts.
The Peasant Movement of Gros Morne provides essential resources and training to its more than 12,000 members. The training allows peasant farmers to cultivate their land more effectively and intensively. This cultivation is complemented by free seedlings from Quixote Center nurseries throughout the region, aiding our central mission of dispersed reforestation and ecological restoration in Haiti.