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The government of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, declared in 2018 a “zero tolerance” policy on the border with Mexico before the growing arrival of undocumented immigrants, most of them from Central America. In July, the United States signed an immigration agreement with Guatemala and subsequently inked agreements with El Salvador and Honduras. US authorities said they also sought an understanding with Panama. Although the three governments reject that they are “safe third country” pacts — which would allow asylum seekers to be sent to another country to wait while their status is being processed — human rights associations claim the agreements do fall under that category.
News Article
Presidential candidate Julián Castro on Monday escorted a group of asylum seekers across the border bridge to his native Texas from Mexico, where they had been sent under the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. Walking across the bridge with Castro were eight gay and lesbian asylum seekers from Cuba, Guatemala and Honduras, as well as a deaf Salvadoran woman and her three relatives. All had earlier tried to cross here with a lawyer after being returned to Mexico to await court hearings, and all had been sent back by U.S. Customs officers. Some had already waited four months. More than 50,000 asylum seekers have been sent to Mexico to await the outcome of their U.S. immigration court cases since the Migrant Protection Protocols, known as Remain in Mexico, began in January. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials initially said “vulnerable” migrants would be exempted from the program. But scores of LGBTQ, disabled and pregnant asylum seekers have still been returned to Mexico. Late last month, the Department of Homeland Security set up courts in large white tents next to the border bridges to Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo to hear Remain in Mexico cases. The department barred public access and has required migrants to show up before dawn for hearings. Some migrants said they were kidnapped while traveling in the dark to court last month. Others have left Mexico before their court hearings, returning home on free flights and buses south provided by the Mexican government and the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration.
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Jesus Abad wins Latin America's top journalism prize after spending years documenting violence in his homeland. For a quarter of a century he has tried to show the consequences of the criminal acts of rebel fighters, the paramilitaries and the Colombian army that have left 220,000 people dead. His portraits perhaps best capture the pain of a war that despite its duration has very few defining images.
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We’ve been engaged in a number of immigrant defense and support activities. We need more volunteer help. VOLUNTEER NEEDS: A. Safe Hotels Campaign, B. Rapid Response Team, C. Bond Packets-Release from Detention, D. Court Monitoring, E. Bus Reception, F. Public Actions, G. Sponsor Families, H. Help for ICE Raid Victims, I. Prayer Support. If you can help, please email irtf@irtfcleveland.org .
News Article
Prosecutors in New York have alleged that the convicted Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán personally gave $1m in bribes to the brother of Honduras’s president to pass on to the Central American leader...
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That Donald Trump has a disturbed relationship to reality is well known, but what emerges in a recently published book is a new climax of Donald Trump's fantasies of violence ...
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Migration from Central America has gotten a lot of attention these days, including the famous migrant caravans. The environmental crises continue to displace people from their homes worldwide. Rising global temperatures, the spread of crop disease and extreme weather events have made coffee harvests unreliable in places like El Salvador. Could such persons be recognized as in need of protection under international law, similar to political refugees?
News Article
The US spends almost $5B a year attempting to intercept shipments of illegal drugs from Central America, but despite the enormous outlay, the quantities of cocaine delivered to the country have continued to rise. A new study comes to drastic results...

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