Dilley is home to a state prison and, since March 2015, the South Texas Family Residential Center, the largest family immigration detention center in the country. The women and children detained there have fled from Central America, South America, and as far away as Syria.
As the militant protests against Donald Trump in California and across the nation attest, resistance to open racism and xenophobia is on the upswing. On May Day 2016, demonstrations from different sectors of the immigrant rights and labor movements once again hit U.S. streets drawing on the legacy of demonstrations a decade ago.
While the migrants unpack their sacks, the volunteers call them up one by one to hand them their identification documents. Many migrants will decide to try their luck again and continue their journey to the United States because returning to their own neighborhoods would mean death.
Since the surge of unaccompanied minors on the US border in 2014, numbers of Central American migrants have not decreased overall, as both the US and Mexico carry out mass deportations. International and U.S. legal protections and procedures for refugees guarantee basic rights and safety for asylum-seekers. Are these requirements being met?
We, the undersigned organizations working in the fields of human rights, Latin American solidarity, immigrant rights, women’s rights and fair foreign policy, call for humanitarian protection for Central American migrants through administratively-granted relief and for an immediate halt to the raids.
Today, we are with mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters from Central America who are searching for their loved ones, who are not in their places of origin, nor their destinations, and the last communication they sent was from here, from the country of transit.