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Retained Belongings
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Retained Belongings

Being deported is bad enough, but many migrants also lose whatever meager belongings they had with them at the time of their arrest. Without their documents, phone contacts or money, they have little hope of returning to their families and places of origin.

Through an animated video, this project explains how authorities ignore the right of deportees to claim their belongings and the dire consequences for the deportees.

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The project team represented the NGO, Programa de Defensa e Incidencia Binacional, which documents human rights violations in U.S. immigration detention centers. A little known violation that the NGO discovered is the retention of migrants’ belongings.

Migrants are not aware of their rights to get back their belongings, and most are deported without them. The consequences are dire. “They can not get jobs, they risk being arrested for not carrying official identification,” said team member Blanca Navarrete García , a PDIB coordinator. “If their relatives send them money, they can not make the withdrawal in the bank and if you ask the favor to someone else, they run the risk of the money being stolen.”

The project received an honorable mention award at Mexico Migrahack.

Team Programa de Defensa e Incidencia Binacional (PDIB): Luz del Carmen Sosa, Cristian Torres Cruz, Carlos Galindo, Herbert Dánchez Alivera, José Luis Manzo Ramírez, Blanca Cinthya Navarrete and Rodo Meléndez Domingues.

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