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News > Honduras

Central American Bishops Urge Biden To Respect Migrants' Rights

  • A migrant caravan heads to the U.S., Tapachula, Mexico, October 2021.

    A migrant caravan heads to the U.S., Tapachula, Mexico, October 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @enespanol24

Published 29 October 2021

"If the U.S. needs to decrease migrant arrivals due to the pandemic, President Biden must address the structural causes of migration in Central America," they argued. 

At a high-level meeting of the Catholic Church’s representatives in Honduras on Thursday, Central American bishops stressed that structural violence, harsh economic conditions, and insecurity force thousands of citizens to migrate towards the United States.


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"The neoliberal economic model has weakened the State’s leading role and enhanced social differences in our populations. Therefore, for many Central Americans, migration is not an option but a necessity," the bishops stated.

The economic crisis prompted by the 2020 hurricane season and the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the influx of undocumented migrants —including unaccompanied children and pregnant women— into the U.S. southern border.

So far this year, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) has detained over 1,7 million migrants, 61 percent of whom were deported under the Title 42 order, which President Joe Biden keeps to avoid “coronavirus contagions.”

“This immediate deportation policy is unfair. Biden must respect migrants’ right to international protection. If his administration needs to decrease the migrant flow due to the pandemic, it must address the structural causes of migration in Central America," bishops stressed.

Despite Biden’s rush migratory policy, the rates of irregular re-crossing of undocumented migrants have increased by 25 percent in the last four months, and authorities consider that irregular crossings are to increase by the end of the year.

"This migration crisis requires an urgent and articulated response from States, civil societies, and the Church. Only this way, we will guarantee fair treatment for Central American migrants," the bishops concluded.


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