Immigration Law

'You Don't Have Rights Here' - Central Americans Being Returned to Danger: HRW Report

The US government’s rapid-fire screening of unauthorized migrants at the border is sending Central Americans back to the risk of serious harm, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. 

The 44-page report, “‘You Don’t Have Rights Here’: US Border Screening and Returns of Central Americans to Risk of Serious Harm,” details the US border policies and practices that place migrants at risk of serious harm back home, based on the accounts of people sent back to Honduras, people in detention, and an analysis of deportation data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Hondurans who fled extortion and threats from brutal gangs faced fast-track screening procedures in the US that resulted in their deportation without a genuine opportunity to claim asylum. Several of those returned told Human Rights Watch that after their return, they were afraid to leave their houses, fearing for their lives.

“The US government’s fast-track screening of migrants is ignoring the very real fears of the people arriving at the border,” said Clara Long, US immigration researcher at Human Rights Watch and author of the report. “In its frenzy to stem the tide of migrants from Central America, the US is sending asylum seekers back to the threat of murder, rape, and other violence.”

Human Rights Watch interviewed 35 migrants, including 25 recent deportees in Honduras and 10 Central Americans in migrant detention centers in Artesia, New Mexico and in Karnes, Texas." - HRW, Oct. 16, 2014.