CORRECTION 1/10 – DHS=Department of Homeland Security (see below)
Giovanni Miranda was 32 years old when Salvadoran gangs murdered him in front of his family in the tiny room where they lived, behind the small auto body shop he owned. Miranda had lived for most of his life in the United States and was a legal permanent resident, but was deported in 2012, after U.S. authorities discovered a 2002 conviction for possessing a small amount of cocaine. Nothing special about his story: he is one more murder victim in one of the most violent countries in the world, the 2016 murder capital of the world.
On Monday, President Trump and his Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ordered more than 200,000 Salvadorans to return to the most violent country in the world. The administration canceled Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for all Salvadorans and gave them until September 2019 to return to El Salvador or be deported. Continue reading
El Salvador is dangerous. The murder rate last year was just over 100 per 100,000 residents — one per thousand. That’s even worse than Honduras, where the murder rate is 61 per 100,000. The Peace Corps suspended its program in Honduras in 2012 because of the violence there. On Monday, January 11, the Peace Corps suspended its program in El Salvador “due to the ongoing security environment.” Continue reading
Last week, the United States admitted 15 Golden Retrievers, fleeing the hard life on the streets of Istanbul. The dogs were welcomed and given new homes in Minnesota, joining more than 60 others who have been admitted this year. More dogs will be coming, as efforts continue to raise money to rescue homeless dogs from Turkish streets. Meanwhile, one year after the United States launched a program for Central American children to apply for refugee status, not one child out of more than five thousand applicants has made it through the lengthy process to safety in the United States. Continue reading
Syrian refugees drown, washing up on beaches in public view. Central American refugees, deported back to the countries they fled, die out of sight, out of mind. The Guardian highlighted three cases of young Honduran men who were murdered shortly after being deported. They are three among many, says The Guardian, referring to a study by a San Diego State University social scientist who has identified 83 such cases in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala since January 2014. Continue reading
The Catholic Church took one more step toward declaring Archbishop Óscar Romero a saint this week. To millions of people, he is already a saint, a hero and — more importantly — a human inspiration to emulate. Saints and superheroes can seem out of reach to ordinary people. Superman can stop a speeding bullet and leap tall buildings with a single bound. Óscar Romero could not, but he remains now and forever presente, here with us as family and friend and challenge. Continue reading