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WRC Welcomes Secure the Northern Triangle Act

Statement by Michelle Brané, Director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program

Today, the Senate Democratic Leadership introduced the Secure the Northern Triangle Act, a bill to provide a coordinated regional response to address violence in Central America and the resulting flow of refugees and unaccompanied children to the U.S. The legislation calls for paid counsel for children and certain vulnerable populations who are facing immigration court proceedings, as well as increased refugee processing and asylum protections in Mexico and the surrounding countries.

Michelle Brané, Director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, said, “This bill is an important first step in addressing the instability in Central America because it recognizes that the people seeking safe haven in the U.S. from this region are refugees. Rather than responding to the violence in Central America as a deterrence and enforcement issue, this bill takes a holistic approach by increasing refugee processing and improving due process protections for Central American children and refugees arriving in the U.S. The Administration should adopt the approach of increasing refugee processing rather than continuing its family detention policies, separating families and conducting raids against teenagers and families with young children who are seeking protection in the U.S.”

The Secure the Northern Triangle Act also includes provisions related to funding in Central America and we would encourage the Senate to further address the root causes of migration from Central America including gender-based violence.