Last week, the Trump Administration announced new rules that will prohibit some migrants from seeking asylum in the US. First, asylum seekers must present their claim in either of the proposed ‘safe third countries’ of Mexico or Guatemala. Only after the rejection of their claims in the ‘safe third countries’, will migrants be able to request asylum in the US. The ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit along with local Bay Area and border nonprofits against this most recent attempt to violate international human rights. At EcoViva, we are deeply troubled by these xenophobic policies. Below are statements from EcoViva’s Executive Director, Ana Luisa Moran Ahern, and Policy and Program Manager, Douglas Chica, who is based in El Salvador.
US immigration policy is inextricably intertwined with EcoViva’s work in Central America. The communities we work with in El Salvador and Honduras are incredibly resilient and full of hope, hard work, and sustainable solutions to climate change, environmental degradation, and food security. However, they are still vulnerable in the face of incredibly difficult and varied threats. Poverty, instability, and violence, while symptoms of larger, systemic problems with roots in US interventionist policy, remain real and persistent threats in their everyday lives. Thousands of people are forced to flee as a result of these threats, not to mention the additional thousands of families forcibly displaced by the effects of climate change and natural disasters.
I am deeply troubled and angered by the news of the administration’s efforts to keep refugees from exercising their international human right to seek asylum in the United States. I have witnessed first-hand the dire situations in places like Honduras and El Salvador, and have known many who were forced to flee. I have also known others who decided to stay and are making courageous, positive changes in their communities. And I’ve known others who stayed and paid the ultimate price, like Berta Caceres, who was murdered defending indigenous land rights. The reasons to flee are real, urgent, and justified. This Administration is cutting a lifeline to thousands of people and putting lives in danger. More people will lose their lives as a result of this administration’s xenophobic, inhumane, and un-American policies. – Ana Luisa Moran Ahern, EcoViva Executive Director
The anti-immigration policies promoted by the Trump Administration are a clear violation of fundamental human rights such as the right to life, dignity, security, and freedom of movement. It saddens me to see the thousands of children incarcerated in detention centers across the US; their fundamental rights violated in such a cruel manner. The blatant violation of the international human rights of these vulnerable migrant populations, especially children, is arbitrary and inhumane. – Douglas Chica, EcoViva Policy and Program Manager
- Share our recent blogs with your friends. We discuss the root causes of migration and highlight the people-powered movements that are building homes worth staying in. Right now, education is a powerful tool against hate.
- Follow the ACLU’s case against the asylum ban and share widely. The ban has unfortunately cleared its first legal hurdle in a lawsuit presided by U.S. District Judge Kelly of Washington DC.
- Promote the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act: contact your representative and ask them to stop funding human rights abuses!
- Sign our petition to end inhumane immigrant detention at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia