Refugee, Human Rights Groups Issue Policy Solutions to Central American Humanitarian Crisis
New York City—Human Rights First today, in partnership with more than a dozen refugee and regional human rights organizations, released a new blueprint offering concrete steps to manage the humanitarian crisis at the U.S. southern border and to address the damage the Trump Administration’s mismanagement of it has caused. Protecting Refugees and Restoring Order: Real Solutions to the Humanitarian Crisis outlines concrete measures that would restore order to the Northern Triangle region and the U.S. border while upholding legal and humanitarian commitments. The report calls on Congress—and over the longer term, the next administration—to push real solutions.
“It is long past time for real solutions, but the Trump Administration is just dishing out more of the same, expanding its inhumane and illegal efforts to ban, bar, and block people seeking refuge from the United States. This cruel and counterproductive quest to destroy the U.S. asylum system and prevent this country from providing protection to fleeing refugees is not a solution. It will just put the lives of even more refugees in danger and trigger even more dysfunction and chaos,” said Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer, a contributor to today’s blueprint. “This is a regional humanitarian crisis—a manageable one that can and should be addressed using proven strategies. The measures outlined in this blueprint will restore order to the region and the U.S. border, while upholding America’s refugee laws and treaty commitments.”
Today’s report offers real solutions in four key areas: tackling the rights abuses pushing people to flee; enhancing the capacity of Mexico and other countries to provide asylum and host refugees; launching a true humanitarian initiative and a long overdue case management system; and fixing the asylum and immigration court adjudication systems to provide fair, non-politicized and timely decisions. It recommends strategies involving diplomacy and aid, public-private initiatives, alternatives to detention and restoring timely and fair adjudications, to alleviated the crisis.
“Families and children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador—fleeing human rights abuses, deadly violence, climate displacement and economic deprivations—continue to seek refuge in the United States and other countries,” wrote the organizations in the report. “This is a regional humanitarian crisis—a manageable one that should be addressed using proven strategies, as are humanitarian challenges around the world.”
Human Rights First created today’s report in partnership with America’s Voice, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, Center for Victims of Torture, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), HIAS, Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), Kids in Need of Defense, Latin American Working Group (LAWG), Refugees International, RefugePoint, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), Women’s Refugee Commission, and Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. Human Rights First greatly appreciates the collaboration and contributions of other organizations with deep refugee and regional expertise.