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Human Rights Organization Condemns President Trump’s Latest Threats Against Asylum Seekers

A new caravan of an estimated 4,000 asylum seekers fleeing Honduras is now headed for the U.S. border; UUSC condemn's President Trump's attacks against Honduran migrants.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass./WASHINGTON, D.C. — Wednesday, October 17, 2018 — Ignited by President Trump’s reactions to a new caravan of an estimated 4,000 asylum seekers fleeing Honduras now headed for the U.S. border, human rights organization the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) condemned President Trump’s efforts to block individuals from seeking asylum and his threats compelling Central American governments to block, arrest, and target such asylum seekers passing through their countries.

“This is in part a problem of the U.S.’s own making,” said UUSC Policy Analyst Josh Leach. “By supporting the corrupt and abusive Morales and Hernandez administrations in Guatemala and Honduras, the United States has directly contributed to the crisis that is forcing people to flee the region.

“By pressuring the Central American governments to block the free movement of asylum seekers, Trump is encouraging these governments to violate human rights principles respecting the right to seek asylum, as well as a binding agreement respecting the free movement of peoples between the Northern Triangle Central American countries,” he said.

On Tuesday, Guatemalan officials detained Bartolo Fuentes, a former Honduran lawmaker and colleague with UUSC partner Radio Progreso.

“Trump’s latest threats to halt this most recent Honduran migration is part and parcel of the administration’s wide-sweeping human rights violations on U.S. soil,” he said. “That includes detention of families and children and his threats today to revive his internationally-condemned family separation policy.”

In tandem, UUSC condemns President Trump’s latest threat to cut off aid to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador if those Northern Triangle countries don’t simply stop the flow of individuals and families fleeing their countries.

“It makes no moral, humane or geopolitical sense to stop humanitarian aid to the innocent people of these countries,” said Leach. Instead, UUSC urges the U.S. to stop the transfer of military and security aid to the countries until improvement in human rights conditions are verified. “The U.S. must fund initiatives that protect human rights, not security forces that are violating these rights.”

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