Target: Sarah Saldaña, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Goal: Stop all deportations of immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Since 2014, as many as 83 U.S. deportees to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have been murdered upon their return to their home countries. Currently, all three of these countries–plus Venezuela and Belize–have the highest murder rates in the world, according to the United Nations’ latest tally. This deadly statistic demonstrates that not only are individuals coming to the United States from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in an attempt to pursue the American dream, but more importantly, they are coming to seek asylum from the mortal threat of their native countries.
Between 2013 and 2014, the number of immigrants arrested on the border of Mexico and the United States doubled, a statistic directly correlated with a spike in murder rates in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. This is clearly an immigration crisis, as a large percentage of illegal crossings are unaccompanied children from Honduras, not Mexico; however, it is a sign of a much larger crisis in Central America. These young people and occasionally their whole families are fleeing their native countries not only because of the ever present threat of brutality, but also because children are the targets of violent gangs in Central America.
The Right of Asylum is recognized by the United States as the right of an individual persecuted in their own country to seek protection by a sovereign authority or a foreign country. Yet, the U.S. government has recently begun deterring immigrants via militarization methods, harsh crackdowns, and hasty expulsions. Take the example of Gredis Alexander Hernández, a 14 year old boy who fled Honduras after witnessing the homicide of his sister’s boyfriend. Two days after his return, he was the victim of two fatal shots to the head. Hernández left to seek asylum and instead returned to imminent death.
By signing the petition below, you are urging the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop the unethical deportation of immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and to provide these individuals with asylum from the danger of homicide in their native countries.
Dear Director Saldaña,
The rate of homicide in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has spiked since 2013 and, as a result, the rate of arrests of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States from Mexico has more than doubled since 2014. These immigrants are coming to the United States seeking asylum from the extreme danger in their home countries. It is the responsibility of the United States to recognize the quantity of homicides that occur in immigrants deported back to these Central American countries and to put an end to deportations while this human rights crisis continues.
The individuals from Central American countries seeking asylum in the United States are mainly unaccompanied children who are the direct target of violent gangs in their native countries. These children and their families deserve the right of political and legal protection of the United States from the imminent threat of gang related assault and homicide they are facing in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
I am urging you to stop all deportations of immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to their native countries because these individuals are in danger of being murdered in their countries. Please take actions to enforce policies that protect the human right to life.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Karppinen