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Americas Migration Brief - June 26, 2023
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Table of Contents
Integration and Development
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and the US were among the 30 countries that signed the Rabat Declaration “calling for the health of refugees and migrants to be included in national health systems and universal health coverage.” (Health Policy Watch)
New publications on child and adolescent migrants: (see also last week’s AMB)
Plan International looks at their integration in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, finding that 36% of Venezuelan families have difficulty registering their kids for school, primarily because of documentation requirements.
R4V explores Venezuelan child and adolescent migrants in Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru and their link to child labor.
IOM surveyed unaccompanied minor returnees in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, finding that 5 out of 10 of their households received regular remittances from abroad and that family reunification was among the leading causes of their migration.
“The migration of children and adolescents in transit through Mexico has increased by 367% in Mexico during the last four years,” including 53% over the last year, reports Expansión Política.
At La Silla Vacía, Ligia Bolívar calls for an extension of the Unique Registration for Venezuelan Migrants (Rumv), noting barriers to obtaining a passport in Venezuela and highlighting recent comments from Colombian officials indicating that there are almost 3 million Venezuelans in the country.
Civil society organizations are calling for the Petro administration to reprioritize the migration agenda and promotion of positive narratives, reports El Nacional.
Proyecto Venezuela highlights the differentiated struggles of Venezuelans living in rural Colombia, arguing that they face “more difficulties and abandonment.”
Belize’s amnesty and regularization program is set to be extended again, reports BBN.
Folha reports on Venezuelan migrants struggling to receive health care in Brazil because of language barriers.
Brazil is launching the Migrant Digital Wallet for digital documentation for migrants and asylum seekers, reports O Sul.
O Sul also reports that there are currently an estimated 161,000 Haitians in Brazil.
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
“Afraid to be deported, many Haitians out of status in the Dominican Republic live in hiding, even when they must be in plain sight,” says Haitian Times.
Guyana is seeking to maintain an inclusive approach to “integration assistance (that) goes beyond basic needs,” reports Loop.
San Cristóbal in Táchira state has become the first Venezuelan city to sign a solidarity city agreement with UNHCR, establishing coordination that will help facilitate reintegration for Venezuelan returnees in the city, as well as integration for refugees. (Los Andes)
A BMC Public Health study finds that there is “an incipient yet weak recognition of the rights and situation of migrants in Chile,” but an “insufficient” awareness and interest in defining strategies for migrants’ health.
Asylum, Protection, and Human Rights
The US Regional Processing Centers in Guatemala “began to accept appointments as of June 12, however, shortly after they did not allow more registrations,” notes VOA.
Migrants in transit to the United States are not particularly interested in applying for asylum in Guatemala, says La Prensa.
“States across the Americas must put an immediate end to the anti-Black discrimination, including race-based torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, against Haitian people seeking safety and international protection,” says Amnesty International.
“Policies such as the Biden administration’s online asylum applications and a so-called ‘travel ban’ are putting LGBTQ migrants in harm’s way, according to U.S. and Latin American advocates. That’s because online appointments take time and force the migrants to wait in countries where discrimination and violence based on gender orientation are palpable; likewise, forcing LGBTQ migrants to first apply for protection in those countries is wrong,” reports Border Report.
RCI, for example, reports on LGBTQ persons fleeing discriminatory violence in Honduras.
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago
The Caribbean Centre for Human Rights calls for Trinidad and Tobago’s government to “(establish) a legal framework to guide the State’s response to the treatment of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.” There is currently a draft policy, but no legal framework. (Guardian)
Peru’s Foreign Ministry is seeking confirmation from Venezuelan asylum seekers that they wish to continue with their asylum applications in the country. (Rostros Venezolanos)
The UN commission for human rights assesses various legislative bills and laws in the Peruvian Congress and their impact on migrants’ human rights. (R4V)
Although violence has caused there to be 379,000 internally displaced persons in Mexico, the Senate has frozen a proposed law on internal displacement that was passed by the Chamber of Deputies in September 2020, says Animal Político.
A new IMUMI report proposes a pilot program to increase the availability and flexibility of migration and protection pathways to Mexico for Central American victims of gender-based violence.
Close to 15,000 migrants are stranded at the Mexico-Guatemala border without proper shelter during ongoing heavy rains, notes La Vanguardia.
Asylum requests in Brazil grew 73% between 2021 and 2022, reports Agência Brasil. 67% were Venezuelans, followed by Cubans (11%) and Angolans (7%).
The city of Guarulhos, outside São Paulo, is requesting “border city” status from the federal government to help funnel resources and develop a greater capacity to respond to increasing migration of Afghan refugees through the city’s airport. Many Afghans sleep in the airport due to a lack of shelter space in the city. (R7, Agência Brasil)
🇺🇸 United States
A new AILA report based on interviews with immigration attorneys explores “how much time it takes to prepare an asylum application, and what complications add significant time,” noting that “even a relatively straightforward asylum case takes 50 to 75 hours of preparation.” Recommendations include “(centralizing) and (digitizing) address changes across all agencies” and that “ICE OPLA attorneys should engage in pretrial negotiations and exercise prosecutorial discretion.”
“The Biden admin is forcing asylum seekers through rushed asylum screenings in CBP custody… the admin is blocking legal access at every turn,” such as by “ignoring attorneys’ notices of appearance,” says National Immigrant Justice Center. (tweet, report)
A new Societies study explores the CBP One app, arguing that glitches with the app “are the result of a political decision to force already vulnerable migrants to rely upon experimental technologies that hinder rather than facilitate their asylum-seeking process.”
“Immigration advocates are calling on the Biden administration to grant or extend temporary protected status to migrants from (Cameroon, Mali, Mauritania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Sudan) experiencing ongoing terrorism, civil war, military-sponsored violence and intercommunal violence,” reports Bay State Banner.
The US Senate has introduced a bill to give Nicaraguans stripped of their nationality earlier this year that are currently living in the US access to “the basic services offered by the Office of Refugee Resettlement,” reports ACI Prensa. (see AMB 2/27/23)
“The Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) is expanding its efforts to address the impacts of climate change on migration and displacement. PRM’s climate change approach includes four principal objectives: Protection… Partnerships… Multilateral Engagement… Coordination.” (press release)
A new Baker Institute brief explores “the new private refugee sponsorship program in the U.S., drawing comparisons with the long-established Canadian model and exploring its benefits and challenges.”
WOLA’s Adam Isacson highlights stories related to the US-Mexico border and human rights at the Beyond the Wall weekly update, explaining that with the end of Title 42, CBP “encountered 61 percent fewer migrants after May 11 than it did during the month’s first 11 days. CBP expanded appointments for asylum seekers using the ‘CBP One’ app, but other asylum seekers subject to the Biden administration’s new ‘transit ban’ rule faced high barriers to protection.”
Migratory Institutions and Regional and Bilateral Cooperation
On the one year anniversary of the Los Angeles Declaration, IOM and UNHCR “acknowledge progress… (but) warn that much work is still needed,” including more inclusive regularization programs and continuing to build on international cooperation and solidarity. (joint statement)
🇨🇦🇲🇽 Mexico and Canada
Canadian and Mexican officials met to discuss migration pathways between the two countries, which are currently oriented around agricultural work in Canada, considering the potential of opening up pathways for healthcare workers. (La Jornada)
🇧🇷🇲🇽 Mexico and Brazil
Mexican and Brazilian officials met to discuss migration cooperation between the two countries and combating trafficking. (Capital)
🇧🇴🇨🇱 Chile and Bolivia
Chilean members of Congress met with Bolivian counterparts to discuss irregular migration between the two countries, among other topics, reports BioBioChile.
So far in 2023, 2,540 Guatemalans have benefitted from labor migration programs to the US and Canada, reports AGN.
🇺🇸 United States
“The Biden administration will make it easier for Indians to live and work in the United States… a small number of Indians and other foreign workers on H-1B visas will be able to renew those visas in the U.S., without having to travel abroad,” reports Reuters.
Migrants in Transit
El Colegio de la Frontera Norte and IOM have a new survey on migration at Mexico’s northern border, while IOM separately has a new report on migration, internal displacement, and return across 12 Northern Mexican cities.
“A small number of Venezuelans are returning… but there are a lot more that are leaving or staying abroad,” I wrote last week in a special edition of the Americas Migration Brief.
Although specific numbers are not known, at least thousands of Venezuelans have internally migrated within the country to Caracas, says El Nacional, highlighting the greater economic opportunity in the capital.
Borders and Enforcement
🇺🇸 United States
The US Supreme Court “ruled 8-1 that Texas and Louisiana do not have the legal right to challenge the (Biden Administration's) enforcement guidelines, which instructed federal immigration agents to prioritize for arrest individuals who posed a threat to border, public or national security, or who recently crossed the border,” reports Roll Call, noting, “Lower-court rulings have blocked that guidance for more than a year.”
Some members of Congress are calling for the Biden administration to remove Chile’s visa-free status. (Ex-Ante)
Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice (STJ) discusses the evolution of jurisprudence on deportations from Brazil, which includes ensuring the right to family preservation.
“Guadeloupe loses up to 3,000 inhabitants per year, more due to the permanent departure of Guadeloupeans than to a drop in the birth rate, putting the question of the return to the country of the natives at the heart of the political concerns of the moment,” reports franceinfo, adding that, “55% of young natives of the island aged 18 to 34 years old would be ready to leave it for a job.”
More on Migration
Jordana Timerman covers at Just Caribbean Updates the Windrush Generation on its 75th anniversary and the loss of rights for Commonwealth Caribbean migrants in the UK.
IOM has published a new migration governance profile on Honduras. The profile covers approximately 90 indicators to evaluate migration governance and identify both well-developed areas and areas for further development.
🇺🇸 United States
Civil society organizations are calling on the Biden administration to “facilitate the returns of unjustly deported people with pending requests to return to the U.S. and establish a centralized process to provide a meaningful chance to come home for people forced to leave behind their families and communities by unjust deportations.”