Honduran woman in migrant caravan gives birth in US

In a photo taken from the Tijuana, Mexico, side of the border wall, Honduran migrants who jumped the wall wait on the U.S. side for U.S. Border Patrol agents, after surrendering, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (AP)
Updated 06 December 2018
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Honduran woman in migrant caravan gives birth in US

  • President Donald Trump said in October that he could end birthright citizenship with a swipe of his pen

SAN DIEGO: A Honduran woman affiliated with a caravan of Central American migrants gave birth on US soil shortly after entering the country illegally amid growing frustration about a bottleneck to claim asylum at official border crossings.
Border Patrol agents arrested the woman Nov. 26 after she entered the country illegally near Imperial Beach, California, across the border from Tijuana, Mexico, Customs and Border Protection said Wednesday. She was arrested with her 20-year-old husband and 2-year-old son.
The woman, who was eight months pregnant, was taken to a hospital after complaining about abdominal plan the day after her arrest, Customs and Border Protection said.
The family was released from custody on Sunday, pending the outcomes of their immigration cases.
Univision reported that the family is seeking asylum and hoped to join family in Columbus, Ohio, while their cases are pending.
Maryury Serrano Hernandez, 19, told the network giving birth in the US was a “big reward” for the family’s grueling journey.
US inspectors at the main border crossing in San Diego are processing up to about 100 asylum claims day, leaving thousands of migrants waiting in Tijuana. Some are crossing illegally and avoiding the wait.
President Donald Trump said in October that he could end birthright citizenship with a swipe of his pen. Most scholars on the left and right share the view that it would take a constitutional amendment to deny automatic citizenship to children born in the US to parents who are in the country illegally.
Of the more than 6,100 migrants staying in a temporary shelter run by the city of Tijuana last week, 3,936 were men, 1,147 were women, and 1,068 were children.
Scores of pregnant women traveled with the caravan through Mexico before reaching the US border. In Pijijiapan in the southern state of Chiapas, Dr. Jesus Miravete, who volunteered his services in the town’s plaza, said he treated a few dozen pregnant women, including 16 for dehydration after being on the road for weeks.
In October, a Guatemalan woman gave birth to the first known caravan baby at a hospital in Juchitan. Mexico’s governmental National Human Rights Commission said it had arranged for medical attention for the woman, who was 38 weeks pregnant, and the girl was healthy.


‘Results’ needed from Myanmar over Rohingya return: UNHCR head

Updated 24 May 2019
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‘Results’ needed from Myanmar over Rohingya return: UNHCR head

  • A UN fact-finding mission called for Myanmar’s top generals to be prosecuted for “genocide”
  • Myanmar pejoratively labels the Rohingya as “Bengali,” implying they are illegal interlopers

YANGON: Myanmar must “show results” to convince Rohingya refugees to return, the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Friday at the end of his first visit to Myanmar since the crackdown against Rohingya Muslims in 2017.
A brutal military campaign in western Rakhine state forced some 740,000 Rohingya over the border into Bangladesh.
Around one million Rohingya now languish in sprawling refugee camps from various waves of persecution.
A UN fact-finding mission called for Myanmar’s top generals to be prosecuted for “genocide” and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has started preliminary investigations.
During his visit Grandi spoke with both Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine Buddhist communities in Maungdaw and Buthidaung in northern Rakhine, the epicenter of the violence.
He also held discussions with officials in capital Naypyidaw, including civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, describing all talks as “constructive.”
“My message is: ‘please accelerate’, because it has been very slow in the implementation in this first year. We need to show results,” he told AFP in an interview in Yangon.
“This is not enough to convince people to come back,” he said.
Grandi visited the camps in Bangladesh in April.
The two countries have signed a repatriation agreement but so far virtually no refugees have returned, fearing for their safety and unconvinced they will be granted citizenship.
Myanmar pejoratively labels the Rohingya as “Bengali,” implying they are illegal interlopers and the community has had its rights eroded over decades.
Gaining independent access to northern Rakhine is difficult with most journalists, observers and diplomats only allowed on brief chaperoned visits.
Grandi defended the UNHCR’s involvement in a plan by the Bangladeshi government to move some 100,000 refugees onto low-lying island Bhashan Char.
The area in the Bay of Bengal is prone to flooding and cyclones.
Rights groups oppose the scheme that has also so far been universally rejected by the Rohingya themselves.
The refugee agency must be “involved” to have the necessary information in order to take a stance on the issue, Grandi said.
“We’re still at that stage, no more than that.”
He also visited camps near Rakhine’s capital Sittwe, where nearly 130,000 Rohingya have been confined since a previous bout of violence in 2012.
Myanmar has announced it will close the camps but many are skeptical the displaced will enjoy more freedoms.
Grandi said the UNHCR would reconsider its role in providing services if conditions did not substantially improve.
“To simply transform the camps, upgrade the camps, upgrade the houses, for example, but leave them in the same situation will not be a solution,” he said.