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Jarmel Brown, Sara Garcia, Trisha Litong, Jason Ortiz

September 30, 2016


Constitution of the Central American Refugees

The Central American refugees from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, will follow
a republican government, led representatives and presidents voted by and for the people. The
republican type of government was chosen because it is an efficient political philosophy in
governing large populations. Additionally, each of the three countries already have some form of
republican government back home, so the people would easily adapt to their new form of
government. The United States is a prime example of a working republican government. This
type of government also ensures that everyone has a voice by granting suffrage to any adult
refugee (18 years old and above). However, the government is more simplified than a
democracy because instead of being governed by the majority, the majority will choose leaders
to govern them. Overall, the people will hold power as individuals rather than as an entire single
body.

Legislative Branch
i.

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iv.
v.

The people will vote for representatives that will vote for laws. The representatives will
get feedback from the refugees to see what they want as a people. Surveys will be sent
out to each family once they resettle to talk about the refugee government & what kind of
laws they would/wouldnt want.
The legislature will be unicameral, comprised of one main Congress, in which
representatives will write the laws using feedback from the refugees.
Optimal/required characteristics the Congress representatives should exhibit include:
a. Trustworthiness (optimal)
b. Loyalty to the government (required)
c. Ability to lead a large group (required)
d. Ability to communicate with the refugees (required)
e. Ability to represent the refugees in the way they see fit (optimal)
f. Graduated in the top percentage of a high level school; ex. University (optimal)
g. Must be 35+ years of age; age ensures maturity, and shows the representative has
known the people around them long enough; age tends to reflect wisdom
(required)
The refugees will determine which candidates fit the characteristics the best in the voting
process, which will occur every 5 years. Representatives in Congress will serve 5-year
terms with a maximum of 2 terms.
The refugees will not vote on how long members should serve. They will follow the
terms set by this constitution. If the premade terms do not work out as planned, however,
the refugees will complete surveys to see what they think the appropriate time limit
should be.

Executive Branch
i.

Immediately after resettling in the Sam Houston National Forest, each family will
receive a manual of laws that they need to follow. The manuals include the following:

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1) Respect the environment: Do not leave trash behind; always pick up your
leftovers
2) Do not go to the lakes from 9 PM to 6 AM
3) Do not violate other peoples property
4) Do not violate other peoples living space
5) No military weapons, hand guns for personal protection & hunting are permitted
6) Always watch your kids
7) Respect other peoples decisions
8) Do not start a group of rebels within your country/against other countries
The executive branch has a president and vice-president for each of the three
countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras). Thus, there will be a total of three
presidents and three corresponding vice presidents. The refugees will have the
opportunity to vote for a leader who has experience with leadership and are able to
handle situations between other countries.
The president and vice president requirements include:
a. Must be at least 35 years old
b. Must have completed a high level of education at University in home country
c. Born in their home country
d. Has citizenship from that country for at least 15 years
e. Able to communicate/work friendly with other foreign leaders
Furthermore, all of these leaders will come together to create a strong police force.
The police force will enforce the laws rather than oppress the people. The purpose is
not to intimidate the refugees nor have a discriminatory divide between the law
enforcers and the common people. The police force will act more like a guidance
group rather than a punishing one. The presidents and vice presidents have the power
to create the requirements of the police force as they see fit.
In terms of service duration:
a. The president will serve 2-year terms, with a maximum of 2 terms. Since it is
a major goal that the refugees will not stay in their relocated area forever, the
terms are relatively short so that the leaders have enough time to lead, but
there are many opportunities for others to become leaders.
b. The vice president will serve 2-year terms along with the president. The vice
president takes the role of the president if they can no longer serve. The vice
president also acts as a diplomat and works with the Houstonians so that the
new refugee government does not clash with the American government.
c. Once a person becomes a part of the police force, they hold that occupation
for life it is considered as their main job. Thus, it is important that the police
force are entirely dedicated to serving the people and enforcing the laws.

Judicial Branch
i.
ii.

The refugees will interpret the Constitution of the Central American Refugees exactly as
is, and it will be applied to every situation concerning the law.
The judiciary will be comprised of a two-court system the Supreme Court and the
provincial courts. The provincial courts will deal with specific refugee campsites, and the
Supreme Court will deal with cases dealing with multiple campsites or those that affect

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the entire refugee population. The Supreme Court will govern the most controversial
federal cases and will advise the provincial courts if they need help.
The federal court is comprised of the Supreme Court (highest court in the government)
with 10 head judges. These judges will deal with controversies that relate to the entire
group of Central American refugees.
The provincial court is comprised of a main judge and two peripheral judges. There will
be 50 total provincial courts accounting for 20,000 refugees each. Thus, there will be 150
main and peripheral judges for the provincial court system.
The judiciary will practice trial by jury, so when a person is accused of something, their
case is presented in front of a group of randomly selected people to establish innocence
or guilt. Refugees have the right to either defend themselves in court or hire someone
else to defend them.
Punishment and consequence examples include the following:
a. Death penalty is in use, but the criminal can choose whatever way they want to
die, just as long as it is in or around the Sam Houston National Forest.
b. Crimes leading to the death penalty include murder, terrorism, and drug
trafficking.
c. Depending on an items value, the first instance of stealing is put on a refugees
record so that future employers can see. The second instance of stealing is
punishable by probation a police officer will be assigned to follow and check up
on the offender daily. The third instance of stealing is punishable by 2 months
jail time.
d. Any form of terrorism is punishable by jail time and even death penalty
depending on what degree it occurs.
e. Jail time for drug trafficking will depend on the amount and value of the
trafficked drugs. $100 dollars worth of drugs is equivalent to a months jail time,
$500 dollars worth is equivalent to 6 months jail time, and anything over $1,000
dollars worth of drugs is equivalent to 1 year per $1,000.
f. If an offender is in jail, they will still have the opportunity to learn or follow any
religious practices. Jail officers will closely monitor the incarcerated for 24
hours, 7 days a week. Any crime committed during incarceration will add to the
time spent in jail. There will be rehabilitation centers in the jail so that once
offenders get out; they will have no inclination to return.

Equality
i.

ii.

The Central Americans come from three different countries: Guatemala, El Salvador, and
Honduras. While they are Central American countries, national rivalries can occur
between the refugees. Cultural differences also divide the countries, which in turn can
lead to further rivalry between the groups.
In order to prevent discrimination between the groups, all nationalities must follow the
following laws concerning equality:
1) Gang affiliations of any kind are prohibited.
2) Intermarriage between groups are considered legal.
3) No one country will have superiority over the other.
4) Each country will have four representatives in creating laws in Congress: 1
man of around 30 years of age, 1 man of around 40 years of age, 1 woman of

iii.

around 30 years of age, and 1 woman of around 40 years of age. This way,
the perspectives of the younger and older people are represented, and both
sexes are represented as well.
To protect and enforce the equality laws:
a. A jail will hold convicts and offenders of the law.
b. There will be randomized checks done by the police force upon the refugee
campsites to ensure that the people are following the laws.
c. There will be police officers elected by the people that are specialized in gang
affiliation. They will be on constant lookout for anything that has to do with
gangs & will prevent gang workings.

Rights
i.

Laws that would protect and define the rights of the refugees include the following:
1) Freedom of speech the refugee is allowed to state their opinion about
anything, including the other Central American countries, the government
itself, etc. However, hate crimes against any group or person is punishable.
2) Freedom of press There is no censorship, so the refugees are allowed to post
anything they want about the government, or whatever they feel like posting
about.
3) Every refugee is allowed to go into any career path of their choosing, and
employers are not allowed to discriminate in the application/hiring process.
For example, employers cannot prevent other nationalities from applying and
must give them equal amount of opportunity to get a job.
4) Every refugee has the ability to get an education and pursue any higher level
of education.
5) Refugees have the right to vote once they turn 18 years of age, no matter what
nationality/religious belief/political belief.
6) Refugees have the right to stand up to the government if they believe it is
corrupt or acts unjustly.
ii.
The rights listed above are considered to be unalienable because the government cannot
take them away. They are similar to that of the U.S. Bill of Rights, but not completely. These
rights come with the refugees and are protected from the moment they agree with this
constitution.
iii. The Constitution of the Central American Refugees was created because it is an integral
part of a republic. It is what the judicial branch of government uses to facilitate and ensure peace
among the people. All of the refugees must follow the Constitution in order for the government
to work.

Liberty
i.

ii.

Liberty is the ability to do as one pleases without being restricted by the law, unless the
action goes against the constitution itself. Most simply put, liberty is the ability to selfdirect. This includes pursuing career interests, setting up personal businesses, and
engaging in legal business interactions.
To define and protect liberty, the following laws will be enacted:
1) The refugee has the ability to bear arms, but use of military weapons is prohibited.
2) Protests/strikes against the government or leaders are allowed.

3) The use of ones self-direction cannot be used to harm another. For example, it
cannot be a persons goal to prevent another from achieving theirs. A way to
prevent this abuse of liberty is by setting a mutual agreement between the
refugees to follow the constitution.

Opportunity
i.

Opportunity is an availability to make something happen. To define and protect


opportunity, the following laws will be enacted:
1) Women and men share the same opportunities, and there is no wage gap present.
2) Every refugee has the ability to get a better education or continue from where they
left off in their home country.
3) Free education is provided in the camps, so money is not a concern when attending
school. All children in the campsites are able to attend school starting from age 5.
These schools will be set up around the campsites offering education from 1st grade to
12th grade. There will be diagnostic tests given to children who want to place ahead
of their age group in school.
4) Adults are also able to attend school starting from age 18 or older, however, minors
are also allowed to take a placement test to start college earlier. Only community
college classes will be given to the refugees, as it would be difficult for a University
to be set up, and the refugees are not planning to settle in the Sam Houston National
Forest forever.
5) Every refugee has the ability to accumulate wealth as a way of social mobility. This
wealth accumulation is limited only to money, and land cannot be accumulated. This
is a way for the refugees to come out of poverty. This leads to the creation of social
classes within the campsite, however, this is encouraged, as everyone has equal
opportunity to rise from their situation.
6) Every refugee must go through some form of education for at least 5 consecutive
years. This ensures that the refugees are knowledgeable to some extent, and so that
they are not completely ignorant during their time in the forest.
7) The Board of Education (part of executive branch) and Supreme Court (part of
judicial branch) must approve subjects taught in school. The Board of Education will
get advice from the Houstonians on what should be taught in school, but selecting the
subjects the refugees want to learn is under their control.
8) Jobs will be available to anyone that wants one, complete with an application process
and work training. There will be no discrimination towards anyone in terms of
applying for jobs. Those with job experience will be looked at the same level as those
with no job experience.
9) Refugees that want to start up their own business must present a pitch to their
assigned provincial court. In their pitch, the refugee must prove that they have the
following requirements:
a. Some form of professional business education
b.
Enough money and resources to start up their business
c. A feasible goals and target audience for the business
d.
Potential employees and investors
e. A designated, legal location for the business to open
f. Financial prospects to predict value of the business

ii.

To protect and enforce the opportunity:


a. There will be a Board of Education made of Houstonian and Central American
leaders so that the refugees can get the best available education. The Board of
Education will help devise the curriculums per grade level for children, and will
provide learning at the collegiate level with different studies and majors.
b. Job Centers will be set up so that the refugees can easily find jobs in or around the
camps. Moreover, they will provide support for those who want to start their own
business or workforce by giving business education.
c. Banks will offer loans to business owners so that they may start up, but business
owners must pay back their debt in 5 years time or else the business is
terminated.
d. Banks will also offer financial support to families that are struggling. However,
the families must repay debts in a decades time or else they are no longer allowed
to take out loans.
e. There will be support groups for women so that they will feel comfortable in the
work place/at school if they are not used to having the same opportunities as men.
For example, there will be specific sections in the Job Centers to transition
women and give them resources so that they are not stuck doing strictly domestic
work.

Questions
1. The Constitution of Central American Refugees does not follow the American ideas of
Checks and Balances, Federalism, or Popular Sovereignty. The judicial, executive, and
legislative branches cannot limit each other from doing their duties. One instance of this
is when the judicial branch creates the law, the executive branch can enforce the law
whichever way they choose. However, the branches do work together when it concerns
more than one branch. For example, the Supreme Court from the judicial branch, and the
Board of Education from the executive branch, collaborate to create school curriculums
in the camps.
Since the population of 1 million refugees is not enough to have separate state
governments, there is no federalism involved in this government. Thus, the central
government of this constitution holds the most power. While there is one Supreme Court
and numerous provincial courts under the judicial branch, rulings by the Supreme Court
takes precedence over rulings of the latter. The Supreme Court has total influence over
how the provincial courts work, showing that the central government is the most
powerful.
While the people are allowed to promote what they want from the government,
the Constitution of Central American Refugees has already been made without
collaboration with the refugees. This means that while the refugees are allowed to revise
on the constitution, it already has premade laws. The refugees do get popular
sovereignty, but only after they agree with what is already written in this constitution.
More differences between the U.S. Constitution and government and the Constitution of
Central American Refugees are stated below:
a. In the United States Constitution, the executive branch has only one president and one
vice president. This constitution states there are 3 total presidents and 3 total vice

presidents so that there is equality in representation between the different countries.


Furthermore, there is only one police force in this government with different jobs.
There are no FBI or CIA groups like the American government has because there is a
much smaller population within the camps.
b. The Constitution of Central American drug trafficking laws are different than that of
the United States laws in terms of jail time. While the American government usually
prescribes 3 to 5 years jail time for drug trafficking, this government determines the
timespan according to how much drugs are distributed or are in possession.
c. This constitution allows refugees under the death penalty the freedom to choose how
they want to die, while the U.S. Constitution has few options including lethal
injection and electrocution.
d. In terms of defense, this constitution limits the refugees from gaining military arms,
but in the U.S. government, most Americans are allowed to under permits.
This government is similar to that of the American government in the sense that there is
separation of powers between the judicial, executive, and legislative branches. The
judicial branch looks at cases of the law, and the executive branch enforces the laws that
the legislative branch creates. Additionally, the judicial branch of this government is
similar to the American judicial branch because there is a main Supreme Court that works
with cases that affect the entire population.
2. Three American founding ideals the Constitution of Central American Refugees agrees
with include Republicanism, Limited Government, and Separation of Powers. In
American Republicanism, citizens of the U.S. vote for representatives to make their
decisions in government. Likewise, in this constitution, the refugees vote for their
representatives in the three branches of government. The people should have a say in
who their leaders are so that their government can cater to the people as much as
possible. Having representation allows a more peaceful society to take place, as all
voices of the community are heard.
In the United States, the governments powers are limited by the Constitution. In
comparison, this constitutions power is limited and cannot have total domination over
the people. The refugees are allowed to amend the constitution as they see fit, and are not
completely restricted from living their desired lives. However, if the refugees have a
destructive attitude towards the constitution rather than a revising one, it will be seen as
an act of anarchy and will be punished. Having a limited government allows the people
to act freely, but in an orderly fashion.
In the U.S. government, the judicial, executive, and legislative branches are
separated so they all have different tasks concerning the law. Similarly, the Constitution
of the Central American Refugees has the three branches. It is important for the branches
of government to separate so that the law does not depend on a single group to be created,
carried out, or evaluated.