Migrants’ stories: Why they flee by Anthony W. Fontes for the Conversation 4/10/19


Massive influxes of Central American families seeking asylum in the United States are overwhelming U.S. immigration facilities. The crisis along the U.S. southern border led directly to the forced resignation on April 7 of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, whom President Donald Trump believed ineffectively managed the situation.

As Trump promises to “ shut down the border” and “ punish” the governments of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador for failing to stem the exodus from their countries, the question of why so many families are making the difficult and dangerous journey north appears more urgent than ever.

I have spent much of the last decade conducting on-the-ground fieldwork in this region, and along the migration paths through Mexico, seeking answers to this question. The region’s extreme poverty and violent impunity are central factors driving this migration.

Court Verdict in Saget v. Trump is in, 4/17/19

TPS for Haitians

We are delighted to share the news that yesterday Judge Kuntz of Federal Court in Brooklyn granted a nationwide preliminary injunction in Saget v. Trump, the Haitian TPS case, agreeing with our claim that the Trump Administration’s November 2017 decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status for Haitians was unconstitutionally racist and illegally arbitrary and capricious.

What the decision does: Judge Kuntz did not make a final determination, because TPS termination for Haitians is not yet final, due to an injunction in the Ramos case involving TPS recipients from Haiti and elsewhere. The preliminary injunction provides another level of protection for Haitians, in case of an unfavorable decision in Ramos.

Judge Kuntz did conclude that the Haitian plaintiffs were “likely” to prevail on their claims that the TPS termination was racist, arbitrary and capricious. Most of the 145 pages of his opinion was spent documenting how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was: “Influenced by the White House and White House policy to ignore statutory guidelines, contort data, and disregard objective reason to reach a predetermined decision to terminate TPS and abate the presence of non-white immigrants in the country”.

Game of Thrones final season is here! See where it all began in Malta by presseditor, 4/5/2019

Women International Day

As Game of Thrones approaches its final season, set to premiere on April 14, 2019, it’s a good time for die-hard fans to take a look at the first location where it all started, Malta. Often referred to as “the hidden gem of the Mediterranean,” Malta is not so hidden when it comes to Hollywood and if you’re a Game of Thrones fan you will remember that most of season one was filmed there.

The quest for power between the Houses of Stark, Baratheon, Lannister and Targaryen all started on the island of Malta. Malta offers tours to join local actors who took part in Season One of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones as they unravel the secrets and adventures of your favorite characters including Arya Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, Joffrey Baratheon and Cersei Lannister.

HRC 40: Accountability under attack in Guatemala by ISHR 3/21/19


The International Commission Against Impunity (CICIG) – created through an agreement between the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Government of Guatemala – has successfully held individuals in the highest positions of government to account. It has provided means to revitalize and strengthen the national judicial system. Government efforts to stop its work have been rejected by the Constitutional Court but its future in the country remains uncertain.

CICIG must be defended, said ISHR and the International Platform against Impunity in a statement delivered to the Human Rights Council. Attacks against CICIG are taking place in a context in which key achievements in strengthening the rule of law are threatened.

Amendments to the National Reconciliation Law, if passed, will lead to impunity for grave internationally recognized crimes, including genocide and torture. Convictions could be overturned and the important drive against impunity will be reversed. UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet has expressed deep concern about the initiative, noting:


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