This Week in Restoring Family Links News 1/4/2016 – 1/8/2016

Do you follow @intlfamilylinks (Restoring Family Links’ account) on Twitter? See an interesting article but just don’t have the time to read it? “This Week in RFL News” is a weekly blog segment that highlights and summarizes some of the news items posted by RFL’s twitter.

US Migrant Deportations: Last weekend, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported that it took over 100 individuals/families from Central America into custody for deportation in an effort by the federal government to expel undocumented migrants and send a message to would-be migrants that they will not be allowed to stay here. DHS Secretary, Jeh Johnson, while acknowledging the on-going poverty and violence afflicting Central America, says that the federal government has no option but to deport these individuals.

These actions have received harsh criticism from religious groups and migration advocates who say these migrants were still awaiting, or appealing, asylum decisions, and the raids refuse the due process these individuals and/or families legally deserve. In one instance, a mother of two was taken by immigration officers who said they just wanted to review her document, but instead, moved to deport her. She had been scheduled for a meeting with her immigration officials on January 4th.  

Luckily, advocates and lawyers were able to halt her deportation and that of three other families who also had pending asylum cases. As the government pushes to continue the operation, some groups have said they would provide undocumented migrants sanctuary to protect them from ICE raids.

Refugees: As we enter a new year and reflect on the old, there is no other topic that has preoccupied our minds and hearts more than the millions of refugees and displaced persons in the Middle East and Europe. This week, the United Nations posted two sites highlighting the stories of refugees and humanitarian workers in Europe as well as those of internally displaced Iraqis. These stories highlight the humanity behind all the arguing and politicizing that is so often the focus of the news.

In looking ahead to 2016, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has called to end indifference towards refugees and migrants and commit to action that will put humanity first.