Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

← Migrant Justice Policy Advocacy

Congressional Issue Briefs

UUSC's recommendations for what Congress can do to ensure human rights protections for Central American migrants.

Violence and human rights abuses have forced thousands of Central Americans to flee their homes in recent years– with a marked increase in forced migration since 2014. The Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala have some of the highest homicide rates in the world. A lack of adequate human rights protections, rampant extortion, extrajudicial killings, and widespread impunity also fuel displacement.

To protect human rights and address this humanitarian crisis, the United States must shift its approach. In Honduras, the United States has provided funding to law enforcement and military units responsible for serious human rights violations. At the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. officials have frequently sought to penalize asylum-seekers from Central America, effectively denying humanitarian protection. Finally, by canceling Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for almost 200,000 Salvadorans the Trump administration threatens to deport people to unsafe conditions and create further instability in the region. Nearly 60,000 Honduran nationals face an uncertain future as well, as the administration decides whether to renew or terminate their status on May 4, 2018.

Congress has the power to reverse these trends. Legislators can appropriate funding to support programs that assist asylum-seekers and refugees, create pathways to permanent status for many TPS holders, and ensure that U.S. tax dollars do not fund human rights violations in Central America.

Find information about UUSC’s current recommendations for Congressional action at the links.