Thursday, May 17, 2012

Law protects migrants and families

An article from IPS today describes a recently enacted Salvadoran law for the benefit of migrants.  The Special Act for the Protection and Development of Salvadoran Migrants and Their Families was enacted in March 2011.   IPS describes the law:

Article 1 of the act states that public policies are to be designed for protection and support of migrants and their families, in coordination with the state and civil society. 
The act establishes a Migration and Development Programme aimed at creating productive initiatives for migrants' relatives who remain in El Salvador, and for people deported from the United States, who amounted to some 19,000 people in 2011, about the same as in previous years according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

"Wherever there are Salvadoran citizens, we want their human rights to be protected by the state," lawmaker Karina Sosa of the left-wing governing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), who was on the legislative commission that steered the bill through parliament, told IPS.

The act provides for high-level coordination between Salvadoran authorities and their counterparts in Mexico - a transit territory for migrants - and the United States, the usual destination.

Once it is formed, the Council will have responsibility for designing and monitoring a comprehensive policy for protection of and assistance for migrants and their families.

The path north from El Salvador to the US is one fraught with peril for the migrants.   Gangs, corrupt police, and physical perils take their toll on hundreds every year.  And yet the human flow keeps going.  This law is a recognition of a central reality of present-day El Salvador.

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