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America’s Voice Reacts to White House Announcement of Improvements to Central American Refugee Program

 

Today the White House announced an expansion of refugee processing for Central Americans fleeing danger in the northern triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. As a result, there will be enhanced opportunities in the region for refugees to find safety. In addition, the U.S. is expanding eligibility for refugee resettlement into the United States. The following is reaction from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“We are pleased the Administration is taking steps to protect more children and young families who are fleeing extortion, rape, murder and torture in the northern triangle countries of Central America. We have long argued that what is happening is a refugee emergency and should be treated like one, and these modest measures at least recognize this reality.

It is our fervent hope that before long we will truly live up to our reputation as a global leader in refugee protection. That would mean the U.S. provides the leadership to combine the following: root cause strategies in the source countries; refugee protection and assistance in nearby countries in the region; resettlement to and responsibility-sharing by the countries in our hemisphere; and full and fair proceedings for those who are in the U.S.

To date, the  Administration has relied on an enforcement-centric approach that sends vulnerable young people back to countries where they may well face death. Instead, we need to respond to this humanitarian emergency with a comprehensive refugee-centric strategy. We have much more to do to fully realize this promise, but today’s announcement at least gives us hope that we are beginning to move in the right direction.”