Kausha Luna's blog

Honduras and El Salvador Plead for TPS Extension

By Kausha Luna, June 22, 2017

Last week, the United States and Mexico cohosted the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America in Miami. While the question of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was not on the agenda, both Honduras and El Salvador took the opportunity to highlight the issue before U.S. officials. Read more...

Alliance for Prosperity Plan: Hope for Curbing Northern Triangle Emigration?

By Kausha Luna, June 21, 2017

Last week, the United States and Mexico co-hosted the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America in Miami. Throughout the conference, prosperity and security in the region were recognized as an antidote to illegal immigration. An op-ed jointly authored by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, and the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) presents a similar argument by alluding to the potential success of the Alliance for Prosperity Plan. Read more...

Mexican City Tells Central American Illegals to Keep Moving

By Kausha Luna, June 5, 2017

A councilwoman in San Juan del Rio, Mexico, recently expressed concern over the growing number of Central American arrivals, particularly those who make their way to and through her municipality.

Aidee Mellado Resendiz, a councilwoman for the Humanist Party, warned that the municipality of San Juan de Rio does not have the capacity to accommodate the growing number Central American migrants who illegally migrate to and through Mexico in search of work. Read more...

Univision Talks "Potential" Amnesty Under the Trump Administration

By Kausha Luna, June 1, 2017

Over Memorial Day weekend, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos interviewed the Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, who said he is working with the Trump administration on a proposal to legalize illegal aliens.

Rodriguez is one of the few Hispanic leaders to respectfully meet with President Trump.

Below is a translated transcript in which Ramos and Rodriguez discuss who would benefit from this proposed amnesty, how the process would function, and the likelihood that the president would approve such measures. Read more...

Many Haitians Choosing to Stay in Mexico

By Kausha Luna, May 23, 2017

As Haitians in the United States receive an extension of their Temporary Protected Status (TPS), those in Mexico have begun to establish themselves in Tijuana and abandon their intentions to cross to the United States.

In 2016, the number of Haitian arrivals at the U.S. southwest border swelled. The majority made their way north from Brazil to take advantage of lax immigration enforcement. However, after the Obama administration reinstated Haitian deportations and President Trump took office, the number of Haitians seeking asylum in the United States dropped dramatically. Read more...

Mexico Regrets Texas Sanctuary City Ban

By Kausha Luna, May 10, 2017

On Monday, Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a press release lamenting the enactment of Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB 4).

Signed by Governor Greg Abbott, SB 4 bans sanctuary jurisdictions in the state of Texas. Read more...

Reactions to Trump's First 100 Days from South of the Border

By Kausha Luna, May 1, 2017

The 100th day of the Trump administration arrived over the weekend, and with it an onslaught of articles remarking on the administration's accomplishments, or lack thereof. Below is an overview of immigration-related events and trends that have emerged south of the border, including but not limited to:

  • Increases in social and economic reintegration programs for deportees;
  • Migrants searching for destinations other than the United States; and
  • A surge of asylum applications in Mexico.

Central Americans Choose Mexico over the United States

By Kausha Luna, April 27, 2017

The arrival of President Trump at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. appears to be having a deterrent effect on Central Americans.

Tabasco Hoy, a Mexican news daily, highlights the story of one of these Central Americans. Per the article, Cinthya Marisol Pereira is a 20-year-old who left Honduras due to "insecurity." Her goal was to reach Mexico and seek asylum there — not in the United States. Read more...

Cuban Illegal Aliens Allowed to Stay in Mexico

By Kausha Luna, April 12, 2017

On Friday, the Mexican government announced it would begin to regularize the status of 588 Cuban illegal aliens in Nuevo Laredo (including a grant of work permits). After the Obama administration ended the "wet foot, dry foot" policy the Cubans passing through Mexico on their way to the U.S. refused to return to the island. Read more...

As Enforcement Tightens, Hondurans Find Alternative Destinations

By Kausha Luna, April 6, 2017

As enforcement tightens at the U.S. border and coyotes continue extortion tactics, Honduran migrants are looking to other countries, including Honduras, as final destinations.

Sally Valladares, coordinator of the Honduran Observatory of International Migration (OMIH), notes that many Hondurans may not take the risk of crossing the U.S. border, given the current political climate, and will instead stay in Mexico. However, Hondurans are also struggling to make it across Mexico's southern border. As of March, the Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs registered the return of 12,566 Hondurans so far this year. Of those registered, 5,771 were deported from the United States and 6,787 from Mexico. Consequently, Valladares expects that Honduran migration to Costa Rica, Canada, and Spain may increase. Read more...

Mexico Reforms Education Law to Benefit Deportees

By Kausha Luna, March 27, 2017

Mexico's President Peña Nieto recently put into effect reforms to the General Education Law primarily to benefit Mexicans deported from the United States.

The reforms will make it easier to revalidate education, eliminate bureaucratic barriers, simplify the revalidation of professions, and facilitate the entry of students into the national education system despite a lack of academic or identity documents. Read more...

Mexico Reaffirms Commitment to Protect Asylum Seekers

By Kausha Luna, March 14, 2017

Mexico and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are working to strengthen their cooperation in international protection, as the United States tightens immigration enforcement and Central Americans continue to make their way north.

On Friday, Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs held the first Strategic Dialogue on Protection between the Mexican government and UNHCR. The meeting served as a follow up to commitments announced by President Peña Nieto during the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, as well as Mexico's commitments under the San Jose Action Statement. Read more...

Central Americans Turn to Mexico for Asylum

By Kausha Luna, March 10, 2017

As the Trump administration tightens immigration enforcement, Central Americans are increasingly opting to apply for refugee status in Mexico.

A Spanish language article highlights the experiences of a Salvadoran man and Honduran woman who travelled to Mexico with the intention to cross the border into the United States. In their narratives, the Central Americans explained that after President Trump's election they, like many others, chose to instead stay in Mexico and apply for refugee status. Both of their cases are among those that were rejected, due to the inability to prove that they meet the criteria for refugee status. Read more...

Mexican Government Prepares Its Illegals in the U.S. for Detention

By Kausha Luna, March 3, 2017

More than a decade after publishing a comic book showing how to sneak into the United States, Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has created an infographic video to advise Mexican illegal aliens in the United States how to prepare for possible detention by immigration authorities.

Titled "Recommendations in Case of Immigration Detention", the video outlines seven steps to be taken. These recommendations are divided into two sections. Read more...

Stranded in Mexico, Cubans Seek Refugee Status

By Kausha Luna, March 1, 2017

Over 50 Cubans, whose original intention was to cross the border into the United States, are now asking the Mexican government to allow them to stay in the country. Read more...

Tillerson and Kelly Visit Mexico, Discuss Migration

By Kausha Luna, February 23, 2017

After DHS Secretary John Kelly visited Guatemala on Wednesday, he joined Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Mexico. There, the U.S. officials met with their counterparts and with Mexican President Peña Nieto to discuss bilateral relations, including migration issues.

This visit was highly anticipated, in light of Mexico's opposition to President Trump's restoration of immigration enforcement.

After a meeting on Thursday morning, Tillerson and Kelly joined Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and Secretary of the Interior Miguel Angel Osorio Chong for a press briefing. Read more...

Mexico Responds to DHS Memos

By Kausha Luna, February 23, 2017

On Wednesday, Mexico's Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray Caso answered a series of questions from the press relating to the implementation memos recently published by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

One question was of particular interest: "What will Mexico do specifically, in addition to appealing to international organizations, to prevent the United States from deporting non-Mexican citizens to Mexico? What will [the government] do to keep Central Americans from coming on deportation planes, for example?" Read more...

DHS Secretary Kelly Meets with Guatemalan President

By Kausha Luna, February 23, 2017

On Wednesday, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly visited Guatemala to discuss issues of security, migration, and development.

Secretary Kelly was welcomed by President Jimmy Morales. According to a press release by Guatemala's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two officials "discussed the causes for migration, which in the case of Guatemala are mainly economic reasons." President Morales reiterated the commitment of the Guatemalan government to continue working on generating the economic and social development that the population needs. Read more...

Remittances from the U.S. Discourage Mexicans from Working

By Kausha Luna, January 25, 2017

Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump spoke of the possibilities of blocking remittances to Mexico or imposing taxes on these transfers, in order to finance the border wall. In response, President Mexican Peña Nieto recently stated that "millions of Mexican families, principally those of low means, depend on these resources."

Mexico's concerns are underlined by the fact that remittances are the second highest source of income for the country, behind automotive exports. At the global scale, Mexico is the fourth-largest remittance recipient, following India, China, and the Philippines. Regionally, Mexico accounts for over one-third of remittances sent to Latin American (37.9 percent), making it the top recipient. Guatemala falls second in the region, and receives four times less than Mexico (9.2 percent). Read more...

Mexican President Outlines Objectives for Relations with New U.S. Administration

By Kausha Luna, January 24, 2017

On Monday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced Mexico's top principles and objectives for its relationship with the United States under the new Trump administration. Read more...

Obama Administration Ends "Wet Foot, Dry Foot" Policy for Cubans

By Kausha Luna, January 13, 2017

Time after time the Obama administration had declared that it had no intentions of changing U.S. immigration policies towards Cubans. However, yesterday, President Obama announced the end of the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, and the lesser known Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program.

Both the U.S. and Cuba called the end of these policies an important step in normalizing bilateral relations. President Obama's statement briefly states the implications of the end of the wet foot, dry foot policy: Read more...

Mexico & Central America Prepare for Trump Administration

By Kausha Luna, November 23, 2016

Earlier this week, the foreign ministers of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador gathered to coordinate actions on behalf of their citizens in the United States.

During a meeting hosted by Guatemala, the four countries agreed that their priority is to send a message of confidence and calm to their citizens in the United States. (It should be understood that the message is intended for deportable aliens.) The foreign ministers noted, given that the United States' immigration policy has not changed, the work of their respective embassies should be reinforced so they can "lobby with future authorities" in the United States. Read more...

Ecuadorian Illegals Denied Temporary Protected Status

By Kausha Luna, November 4, 2016

On Thursday, the government of Ecuador announced that the United States denied a request for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for its illegal aliens there.

The Ecuadorian government made a request for TPS in May, after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador's central coast in April. Read more...

Half a Century of Cuban Adjustment

By Kausha Luna, November 1, 2016

Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA). A Cold War relic, the CAA and the "wet foot, dry foot" policy continue to function as pull factors for U.S.-bound Cuban illegal aliens. Read more...

Mexico and Honduras Announce Amnesties

By Kausha Luna, October 25, 2016

Mexico and Honduras announced last week they would grant amnesty to illegal aliens in their respective territories. Read more...

Mexico Sends Troops to Its Southern Border

By Kausha Luna, October 19, 2016

The Mexican government has sent military forces to guard its southern border with Guatemala, amidst the arrival of thousands of U.S. bound Haitians and Africans illegal aliens.

Mexico's Ministry of National Defense (Sedna) and Navy (Semar) deployed troops to the Guatemala-Mexico border as part of the Regional Border Operation 2016. The operation is taking place between October 17 and November 17 and aims to combat smuggling networks, among other criminal activities. Read more...

The Realities of Illegal Immigration Into and Out of Honduras

By Kausha Luna, September 28, 2016

An interview with the director of Honduras' National Institute for Migration (INM), Carolina Menjívar, provides an insight into the country's immigration flows and system.

The INM, created in 2014, is the agency responsible for controlling and regulating migration into and out of Honduras. Menjívar, an attorney, was appointed as director to elevate the status of the INM, given the corruption scandals that plagued the previous immigration agency. That prior agency, the General Migration Directorate, was abolished and its entire staff fired because it was actually facilitating alien smuggling.

Some of the more telling portions of the interview read as follows: Read more...

As Haitians Head North from Brazil, DHS Announces Resumption of Deportations

By Kausha Luna, September 27, 2016

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced last week the resumption of regular deportations to Haiti, amid a spike in Haitian arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In the one hundred days prior to September 18, as many as 5,600 Haitian illegal aliens, accompanied by 150 minors, crossed Mexico's southern border and made their way north to Tijuana in order to seek asylum in the United States. Last week the Los Angeles Times reported that "numbers provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection showed that through July 31, a total of 3,060 Haitian 'inadmissibles' sought admittance to the United States through San Diego ports of entry during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year." Read more...

Guatemala to UN: Our Emigrants Aren't Refugees

By Kausha Luna, September 23, 2016

During the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants this week, Guatemala clarified that Guatemalans leave the country for economic reasons and family reunification, not because of violence or persecution. As such, they should not be treated as refugees. Read more...

Latin American Countries Call for an End to U.S. Immigration Policies Favoring Cubans

By Kausha Luna, August 30, 2016

On Monday, the Ecuadorian mission in Washington D.C. delivered a letter signed by nine Latin American foreign ministers expressing their concern about the negative effects of U.S. immigration policy across the region.

The letter, addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry, solicited the United States to evaluate the Cuban Adjustment Act and the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which encourages illegal Cuban migration the United States. Read more...