The security situation in the Northern Triangle is deteriorating, forcing people to leave their homes. The number of children and families fleeing has increased over the years. From the IRC’s experience in the region, the fears of persecution among those fleeing the Northern Triangle are very real. Violence in the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador is amongst some of the worst in the world outside of an active war zone.
The $8.6 billion the President requested in FY2020 for a wall is almost 20 times more than the amount requested to address the root causes of violence and displacement in the region. Threats of pulling aid only undermine U.S. allies who are in a position to address the root causes, not just the symptoms, of this crisis. Instead of cutting aid, the U.S. should support Central American countries’ efforts to reduce violence and poverty – the core reason people are fleeing north.
Increasingly, recently released asylum-seeking families in the U.S. are being abandoned by the Trump Administration with no access to food, shelter and clothing rather than being met with a formal reception system. Many have small children or infants. They often speak little English, have no means to travel, or information on how to reach their final destinations or reunite with family in the U.S. Many have been given no guidance on when to attend their immigration court hearings.
Communities along the border are trying to support these asylum-seeking families, but their resources are being stretched to breaking point. IRC is providing additional capacity in order to meet these needs, mobilizing with resources, volunteers, and utilizing our emergency expertise to help as many people as possible.
The IRC calls on the U.S. Administration to follow domestic and international law, and uphold America’s humanitarian commitments.Congress must act to reverse the systemic attacks on protections for vulnerable populations, refugee resettlement, and legal pathways for asylum seekers, to protect American values and American interests. In recovering America’s humanitarian leadership, Congress must override the President’s veto of the revocation of his unnecessary Emergency Declaration, restore funding to address violence and insecurity in Central America, vote to prevent the deportation of those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and uphold the rights of people seeking asylum.
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