LULAC Applauds Changes to the Central American Refugee Program by Obama Administration

July 27, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced plans to make key changes to its Central American Refugee program. With Costa Rica now serving as a temporary host site, refugees from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras will be allowed a temporary stay in Costa Rica before ultimately being resettled in the United States. In addition, the United States will set up an in-country program in the Northern Triangle countries that will establish a process that will allow the most vulnerable to claim refugee status. All individuals will be screened and undergo interviews by the Department of Homeland Security. The Central American minors program will also expand to now consider certain family members of the children who met the program’s eligibility requirements for resettlement in the United States. In response, LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. issued the following statement:

“For decades countries in the Northern Triangle of Central America have ranked as some of the most violent in the world and as a result, their people have lived in constant fear for their lives. These families are forced to flee their country of origin because it has not protected them from corruption and extortion. If they stay, the only truth they know is that their children will be forced into gangs and subjected to systemic violence and poverty. The changes to the refugee programs announced by the Obama Administration are critical to the effort of providing these individuals with the protections they so desperately need. LULAC commends the administration for taking these important steps to improve the efficiency of refugee resettlement, and we will continue to fight for a system which ensures that no person is sent back to a situation where their life is in danger.”

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