Month: October 2015

On Al Jazeera’s “The Stream” on 21 October

Salvadoran Ambassador Roberto Fuentes Francisco Altschul (, Alex Sanchez (Homies Unidos), Maria Jose Benitez (UNICEF El Salvador) and I will discuss gangs in El Salvador on Al Jazeera English’s “The Stream” on Wednesday, 21 October 2015. To watch this show, “El Salvador’s gangland,” and past shows, click here:, or follow them on Twitter at @AJStream. To learn more about how to support Homies Unidos’s work, click this link: To learn more about UNICEF’s work in El Salvador, click here:

Presentation at Stanford University Law School on 17 October 2015

On Saturday, 17 October 2015, I was on a panel on immigration and refugee law at Stanford University’s Law School Shaking the Foundations Conference. To learn more about the conference, click this link: To learn more about the work of my co-panelists, which I highly recommend supporting, click the links provided beside their names:

Alison Kamhi, Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC),

Kaitlin Kalna Darwhal, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLESPA),

Eunice Lee, UC-Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS),

Kai Paul Kailani Medeiros, Stanford University Immigrants’ Rights Clinic,

Forthcoming study cited in Mother Jones article by Ian Gordon on 15 October

To read the entire article, “4,600 Central American Kids Have Applied for Refugee Status. 11 Have Gotten It. Here’s Why,” by Ian Gordon of Mother Jones, click the link:

“And according to an upcoming report by social scientist Elizabeth Kennedy, 83 people deported by the United States in the past 21 months have been killed upon their return to El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras.”

Quoted in The Guardian article by Sibylla Brodzinsky on 12 October

To read the entire article, “The migrants who fled violence for the US only to be sent back to their deaths,” click this link:

“No one keeps an official record of how many returnees have been murdered in Honduras. But a review of news reports of killings in the country compiled by researcher Elizabeth Kennedy at theSan Diego State University shows that at least 35 people who were deported from the United States between January 2014 and July 2015 were murdered within months – or even days – of their arrival in Honduras.”

Forthcoming study cited in The Guardian article by Sibylla Brodzinsky and Ed Pilkington on 12 October

To read the entire story, “US government deporting Central American migrants to their deaths,”click the link:

“Immigration experts believe that the Guardian’s findings represent just the tip of the iceberg. A forthcoming academic study based on local newspaper reports has identified as many as 83 US deportees who have been murdered on their return to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras since January 2014.

Human rights experts warn that in its haste to expel or deter undocumented immigrants, the US government is scrimping on its obligation to provide asylum to those genuinely in peril in violation of international law.

The collateral damage of America’s increasingly unforgiving deportation process is that people are being returned to extremely dangerous situations in Central America, which has some of the highest murder rates in the world.

Elizabeth Kennedy, a social scientist at San Diego state university, has compiled a comprehensive estimate of US deportees who have been murdered on their return to Central America since January 2014 based on local newspaper reports. Her forthcoming research identified 45 such cases in El Salvador, three in Guatemala and 35 in Honduras.

“These figures tell us that the US is returning people to their deaths in violation of national and international law. Most of the individuals reported to have been murdered lived in some of the most violent towns in some of the most violent countries in the world – suggesting strongly that is why they fled,” Kennedy said.”

Quoted in the New York Times article by Sonia Nazario on 10 October

To read the entire article, “The Refugees at Our Door” by Enrique’s Journey author, Sonia Nazario, and see the great photos that accompany it in the New York Times on 10 October, click this link:

“No one systematically tracks how many deportees end up dead when they are returned to their homes, but the social scientist Elizabeth G. Kennedy in a forthcoming report documents, from news reports, that at least 90 migrants deported by the United States and Mexico in the past 21 months were murdered. The true number, she notes, is most likely much higher.”

Coffee and Context at the San Diego Repertory Theatre on 10 October

Economist, Dr. Catlina Amuedo-Dorantes ( and I provided coffee and context to the 20:00 performance of My Mañana Comes ( on Saturday, 10 October at the San Diego Repertory Theater. We really enjoyed the conversation with those who decided to come early and the show. It’s an excellent performance that touches upon family, sacrifice, immigration, a fair working wage and so much more.