CARECEN Denounces Family Separation and the Detention of Refugee Families

Los Angeles, CA- After facing public outrage over his administration’s policy of forcibly removing immigrant children as young as four months old from their parents, President Trump signed an executive order that will result in the prolonged incarceration of refugee families.  The executive order does not provide a path for the immediate reunification of the approximately 2,300 young children who were already taken from their parents by the Trump administration in recent weeks. Furthermore, this executive order may allow children to be removed from their parents if their parents are detained longer than twenty days.   The Trump administration is well aware of humane alternatives to immigration detention but chooses instead to hold immigrant families hostage in exchange for funding for a costly and ineffective wall on the southern border. This abhorrent strategy is part of a larger effort by the administration to engage in tactics that target asylum seekers, in particular those from Central America. Asylum seekers who arrive in the United States after fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries now face prolonged incarceration in immigrant detention centers with deplorable conditions, as well as legal obstacles intentionally put in place by this administration.  Attorney General Session’s recent decision to undo existing asylum protections for domestic violence victims from countries that are unwilling or unable to protect them from their abusers confirms that this administration desires to exclude modern-day refugees from the United States. CARECEN was founded in 1983 by Central American refugees that fled the bloody and repressive civil war sponsored by the United States. Social inequality, gang violence, and ineffective justice systems in Central America have sparked the current migratory crisis. The current administration ignores the United States’ direct role in creating this situation, focusing instead on cruel treatment of migrants, border security, and deportation as deterrence strategies. This approach will only worsen conditions in Central America, creating future refugees and economic migrants. We condemn the forcible removal of young refugee children from their families as well as the prolonged incarceration of refugee families.  We further denounce any efforts to deter refugees from seeking asylum in the United States including: threats of prolonged detention, inhumane detention center conditions, attempts to interfere with immigrants’ Constitutional right to access legal representation, and judicial efforts to exclude victims of domestic violence and victims of gang violence from asylum in the United States. We further condemn the practice of using refugee asylum seekers for corporate profit by placing them in prolonged, costly detention at taxpayer expense. We call on our elected officials to advocate for asylum seekers by demanding that they are given a meaningful opportunity to seek refuge in this country without suffering human rights violations.  Furthermore, we encourage our elected officials, community members, and allies to continue to advocate for immigrants’ rights by resisting the President’s attempts to hold refugee families hostage in exchange for punitive and draconian immigration laws that disproportionately target Central American immigrants arriving at our southern border.

Honduras TPS

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact Name: Silvana Lezama                                                                                  May 4, 2018 Phone Number: 424- 261-4390 Email: silvanadlezama@gmail.com CARECEN CONDEMNS THE ADMINISTRATION’S DECISION TO TERMINATE TPS FOR HONDURAS The Cancellation of TPS Honduras threatens the lives of over 57,000 Hondurans, their families and their community Continue reading

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CARECEN SOTU Response

Press Statement January 31, 2018   CARECEN Denounces President Trump’s State of the Union Statements Criminalizing Central American Immigrants   Los Angeles, CA – CARECEN-Los Angeles, an organization founded by Salvadoran refugees in 1983, condemns President Trump’s comments on Unaccompanied Minors and the MS-13 gang during his first State of the Union address. Central American gangs like MS-13 are a distinctly U.S. phenomenon, born of long-standing systematic racism and the failure of the U.S. government to adequately acknowledge the refugees it created through death squads and dictatorships in Central America. This U.S. problem was then exported/deported to Central America, where gang and state violence combine to make life unlivable for a huge section of the population, including the child refugees or unaccompanied children. “Utilizing this ongoing, long-term tragedy to justify further repression against Central Americans, Latino immigrants, and unaccompanied minors is yet another way this Administration is pushing forward a xenophobic and anti-immigrant agenda”, said Martha Arevalo CARECEN Executive Director. “If the U.S. government truly wants to find a solution to the Central American gang crisis, it must first take responsibility for its role in its creation, admit that the gang war, drug war, and further militarization of Central America are failed policies, and recognize the humanity of Central Americans. We will continue to organize and defend against these vile and politically motivated attacks directed against our immigrant and refugee families.”

CARECEN-LA DENOUNCES REPRESSION IN HONDURAS

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        January 22th, 2018                                                       Contact: Martin Pineda at mpineda@carecen   -la.org, (562)916-5650 CARECEN-LA Joins Faith Leaders & Social Justice Advocates Traveling to Honduras in Wake of Contested Elections, Widespread Protests and Violence Amid of a week of action to coincide with the controversial presidential election  Martin Pineda, a staff member of CARECEN-LA, will be traveling to Honduras on Jan 24, to join 50 faith and social justice leaders from the United States to observe the ongoing civil strife affecting the country since the contested presidential elections in November of last year. CARECEN- LA and the rest of the delegation seek to encourage respect for human rights activists, journalists, and other advocates of democracy who have been arrested and acted upon with violent force. Reports indicate that more than 40 civilians have been killed and over 1,000 detained or injured by Honduran state security forces. Activist leaders like Father Melo of ERIC-Radio Progreso have received numerous death threats from state and unknown actors over the years, with instances increasing in the last few weeks. We demand the end of the repression against human rights and democracy defenders. The faith leaders and social justice advocates seek mediation with international presences to end the political crisis that has put the life of many in jeopardy. Even if the U.S. government has recognized the announced results of the elections, the majority of the international community recognizes the extreme high probability of fraud in those results and supports the opposition’s call for a re-count or new elections.  Leaders of the opposition Alliance in Honduras initiated a national strike leading up to the inauguration of Juan Orlando Hernandez on Saturday, January 27. The opposition Alliance demands an end to the violence against peaceful protestors and the removal of Hernandez from office. As a Central American immigrant rights organization, we consider the continued political and military support provided by the United States as a green light for this illegitimate regime to continue its state sponsored repression. CARECEN-LA has seen this type of violence before during the 1980’s, as thousands of Central American refugees fled the bloody U.S sponsored civil wars that destabilized the region and the situation in Honduras unfortunately reminds us of that tragic era that led so many to seek refuge in the United States. CARECEN-LA’s mission continues to be to empower Central Americans and all immigrants by defending human and civil rights, working for social and economic justice and promoting cultural diversity. The situation in Honduras is frightening, as US support for a de facto dictatorship in 2018 is a blow to democracy, human rights, and refugee rights throughout the hemisphere. We stand in solidarity with all those who are tired of living under the corruption and violence of the current government, and call upon the international community to reject the destruction of democracy in Honduras and the repression of peaceful protestors. We also call upon our own US government to cease its economic, military, and political support for the continuity of an obviously illegitimate government.

CARECEN Statement Regarding Decision to End TPS for El Salvador

For Immediate Release: Contact: Xochitl Sanchez 323-477-5237 xsanchez@carecen-la.org; Martin Pineda 562-916-5650 mpineda@carecen-la.org January 8, 2018   Continue reading

Statement from the Central American Resource Center – Los Angeles (CARECEN-LA) Regarding the Revocation of TPS for Haitians

  Statement from the Central American Resource Center – Los Angeles (CARECEN-LA) Regarding the Revocation of TPS for Haitians November 20, 2017 Continue reading