LULAC Calls For Increased Resources for Central America Refugee Admissions Program and Continues Calling for an End to Deportation Raids

January 14, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. State Department announced yesterday that it will expand its Refugee Admissions Program in order to offer a safe and legal alternative to those fleeing violence and seeking entry into the U.S. The Obama administration also announced that it would be working with the United Nations and other non-governmental organizations to ensure that those who seek refugee protection are properly identified.

“The expansion of the Refugee Admissions Program is a positive step towards helping those in need. Individuals from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras who have been targeted by gang violence and fear for their lives should now be able to claim the refugee protection they legally and rightfully deserve," said LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. "However, expanding a program does not answer our call for the government to stop the recent deportation raids that are tearing families apart. The violence in these regions is real and imminent, leaving people without any options other than to make the deadly journey across the border. The U.S. government must deal with this human tragedy in a humane manner rather than its present course of deportations."

It is also important to note that the U.S. did not mention whether the expansion of its Refugee Admissions Program will include additional staff or opening additional centers. The lack of clarity with regard to the availability of such resources is also of concern to LULAC.

“We present people with false choices if the legal avenues available for entry into the U.S. are almost impossible to realize,” said Brent Wilkes, LULAC National Executive Director. “Expanding the program is only beneficial if we also expedite the process and approval of applicants who seek refugee protection. Last year, out of the approximately 4,600 minors that applied for refugee status, only eleven were conditionally approved for resettlement in the U.S. Such statistics clearly establish that the approval process is deeply flawed and must be reformed."

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.

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