[Media Advisory] Democratic Establishment Must End the Assault and Suffering of Central American Refugees in the U.S.


Media Advisory | Monday, June 6, 2016

Democratic Establishment Must End the Assault and Suffering of Central American Refugees in the U.S.

On the eve of the Democratic presidential primaries, the Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families and other community organizations* demand that  Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Democratic Party immediately halt the newly announced plans for deportations and raids, and provide a pro migrant platform that addresses the root causes of forced migration of Central American refugees.

On May 12, Homeland Security announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would launch a 30-day "surge" of arrests and deportations between May and June that would focus on Central American mothers and children. These raids will also target minors who have entered the country without a guardian and have since turned 18 years of age. This new wave of deportations comes after the January 2016 raids that targeted Central American mothers and their children.

Refugees and allies cannot ignore Secretary of State, Clinton’s major role in destabilizing countries in Central America, in particular the quick movement by Clinton in 2009 to consolidate the post-coup regime in Honduras. In the years that followed, Clinton, acting as Secretary of State, ignored multiple requests from members of congress to halt military aid to Honduras given the documented links between military personnel and the extrajudicial murders of activists and opposition leaders. Rather than address the human rights nightmare in Honduras, the U.S. government, under Democratic leadership, has tightened its friendship with the Honduran administration.

In the wake of the mass migration of children from Central America, the Obama administration requested $1 billion in aid to the region, $750 million of which was granted. While the U.S. voted to increase military spending in Central America, Clinton maintained that the children arriving at the border should be sent back as a way to deter further migration. In doing so, she ignored her role in creating the structural violence they were fleeing. As the leading candidate of the Democratic Party, refugees and allies demand Hillary Clinton take an active stance on this issue.

In lieu of continuing the policies of the Obama Administration and Democratic Party, which have created structural violence and human rights violations, the Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees & Families demands that Clinton pressures that the Democratic Party and Obama Administration:

  1. Provide immediate temporary relief, such as Temporary Protected Status (TPS), for Central Americans fleeing violence until the U.S. immigration courts, judges and the entire judicial system demonstrate their ability to treat Central Americans fairly.

  2. Halt all raids and deportations of Central American refugees and other migrant communities.

  3. Halt all repressive policies that punish and harm Central Americans, including, but not limited to, Plan Frontera Sur, which funds the detention and deportation of asylum seekers at the Mexico-Guatemala border without due process, and the border enforcement requirement of the Alliance for Prosperity, which seeks to further expand border militarization in Central America.

  4. End warehousing asylum-seekers, including children as young as infant age, in ice boxes, often called “Hieleras”, before transferring them to detention centers.

  5. Release all refugees in detention centers across the country, prioritizing women, children, and Transgender women and other LGBTIQ migrants.

  6. End the practice of shackling detainees, which include mothers, children and LGBTIQ migrants with GPS devices.

  7. Rexamine U.S. refugee policy and ensure the law is fair and just for Central American asylum-seekers.


Steven Osuna, (213) 247-6821, [email protected] 
Nancy Zuniga, (310) 433-1997, [email protected]

The Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families brings together organizations, refugees, and activists concerned with uplifting and defending the human rights of refugees and migrants, especially women, children, and LGBTIQ communities, who have been directly affected by forced migration as a result of U.S. political and economic policies. http://www.refugeerightsnow.com/

*Immigrant Youth Coalition, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Union del Barrio, Homies Unidos, Central American Youth Council, May Day Trans Queer Contingent, and CISPES-Los Angeles

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