Next week, President Obama is convening world leaders in a Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in New York City, following the related UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants. These summits aim to increase humanitarian aid, raise the number of refugee resettlement and admission opportunities, and guarantee the right to work and access to education for all refugees. During the Leaders’ Summit, the administration will position the United States as a leader in boosting commitments for refugees globally. We commend the president for wanting to take leadership, and for encouraging protection of refugees globally, but he needs to know that bold leadership must begin at home.
ISN joins the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States and other faith-based advocacy partners in calling on the U.S. government to lead by example by changing its response to the refugee crisis in our own backyard. Tell President Obama to TAKE ACTION for Central American migrants and refugees.
Hundreds of thousands of children, women, and men are being forced to flee their homes due to horrific levels of violence, corruption, impunity, and poverty in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Yet in their search for protection in their own country, in the region, or in the United States, they are too often met with detention, little access to asylum, and deportation back to danger. The U.S. government has taken important steps forward in announcing the expansion of refugee resettlement efforts for Central Americans in the region, but these will be meaningless if it continues to prioritize strategies of detention, deportation, and deterrence over protection.
Today, exactly one week ahead of the summit, we urge the Obama Administration to lead by example and protect Central American refugees and migrants by doing the following:
- Stop detaining and deporting children, women, and men fleeing violence, corruption, and poverty in the Northern Triangle of Central America;
- Ensure that those individuals and families in need of protection have full access to legal counsel, protection, and asylum;
- Support expanded efforts for U.S. refugee resettlement in the region;
- Stop support for increased border militarization and interdictions in Mexico and instead support strengthening access to asylum; and
- Support the immediate implementation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the Northern Triangle Countries.
Let’s stand together for protection for our neighbors and for those in our communities!