Central America

Central America

Gaston A. Fernandez of Indiana State University reviews This Land is Our Land: Immigrants and Power in Miami, by Alex Stepick, Guillermo Grenier, Marvin Dunn and Max Castro.  The authors describe Miami as the de facto capital of Latin America; it...

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Does the United States Need to Invest More in Border Enforcement?

Despite the largest immigration enforcement budget in US history, the Border Patrol is set to apprehend the highest number of border crossers in more than a decade. This essay argues that the administration’s enforcement-only approach cannot successfully address this humanitarian crisis, and does not deserve any additional funding. Instead, the administration should respond to the conditions driving Central American and Venezuelan asylum seekers, provide protection for those fleeing violence and other impossible conditions, and create a strong, well-resourced US asylum system.

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CMSOnAir | Joanna Williams on the Kino Border Initiative
This episode of CMSOnAir features an interview with Joanna Williams, director of education and advocacy for the Kino Border Initiative (KBI). KBI is a bi-national organization based in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico that works to “affirm the dignity of the human person and a spirit of bi-national solidarity.” In this episode, Williams details KBI’s efforts to provide humanitarian aid, education, and advocacy to deportees from the United States, migrants who have crossed the border without authorization, and Central American asylum-seekers. She recounts the impact of various changes by the Trump administration on KBI’s work and migrant communities, including the elimination of prosecutorial discretion and the implementation of policies (such as the Migrant Protection Protocols/Remain in Mexico policy) that force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico. Williams also discusses the recent report, “Communities in Crisis: Interior Removals and Their Human Consequences,” co-authored with CMS and the Jesuit Conference’s Office of Justice and Ecology. The study examines the characteristics of deportees and the effects of deportation, and places the findings in a broader policy context.

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2019 Fr. Lydio F. Tomasi, C.S. Annual Lecture on International Migration | Border Spirituality: ‘Tu eres mi otro yo’

Established in 2014, the Fr. Lydio F. Tomasi, C.S. Annual Lecture on International Migration addresses a migration-related topic of pressing concern to faith communities. Co-sponsored with the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University, the 2019 Tomasi Lecture was delivered by Msgr. Arturo J. Bañuelas, S.T.D., Pastor of St. Mark’s Parish in El Paso, Texas at the fifth national gathering of the Catholic Immigrant Integration Initiative in Santa Clara, California.

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Border Spirituality: ‘Tu eres mi otro yo’

The 2019 Father Lydio F. Tomasi, c.s. Annual Lecture on International Migration was delivered by Msgr. Arturo J. Bañuelas, Pastor of St. Mark’s Parish in El Paso, TX on March 12, 2019 at the sixth national gathering of the Catholic Immigrant Integration Initiative in Santa Clara, California.

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Reflections from the Border: Entering a New World

Fr. Pat Murphy, executive director of the Centro Scalabrini – Casa del Migrante, introduces the Casa’s new program – the Scalabrini Education Center for Migrants (CESFOM) – which provides migrants with further education, job training, employment certification, and opportunities for spiritual development.

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Predicting Unauthorized Salvadoran Migrants’ First Migration to the United States between 1965 and 2007
This paper seeks to understand the predictors of first undocumented migration from El Salvador to the United States and makes policy recommendations in response to one of the most important migratory flows from Latin America. Findings suggest that an increase in civil violence and a personal economic crisis increased the likelihood of first time undocumented migration to the United States between 1965 and 2007. Salvadorans who were less likely to take a first undocumented trip were business owners, those employed in skilled occupations, and persons with more years of experience in the labor force. An increase in the Border Patrol budget and the high unemployment rate in the United States deterred the decision to take a first undocumented trip. Having contacts in the United States is not the main driver of the decision to start a migration journey to the United States. The paper recommends that the United States awards Salvadorans more work-related visas and asylum protection, and grants permanent residency to those who formerly had Temporary Protected Status. Recommendations for the Salvadoran government include investing in high-skilled job training in order to discourage out-migration.

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Reflections from the Border: A Look Back

Fr. Pat Murphy, executive director of the Centro Scalabrini – Casa del Migrante, looks back at 2017 and shares his list of the words that have dominated the lives of those who lived at the Casa del Migrante during the past year

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