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The Crisis In Matamoros Continues

The Crisis in Matamoros Continues

About 2,000 people live in tents on hard concrete just over the bridge between the U.S. and Matamoros, Mexico. Brownsville, Texas, is on the other side. Most of the migrant families here have presented themselves for asylum, passed the “credible fear interview,” and been given court dates months hence. They have then been sent back to Mexico, rather than released to waiting sponsors in the U.S. The United Nations has refused to recognize this camp as a refugee site, and provides no services.

Vox reports on the conditions: “Basic health care services come from US-based nonprofits, including Global Response Management, which are stretched thin. Other volunteers cross the border daily, bringing supplies like bedding and food.

“Sometimes, parents try to send their children to the port of entry alone so that US officials will be forced to process them, believing they will be safer in the US than in the camps, Schacher said. Their settlements are so close to the port that they can wave to their children as they cross the border.”

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Marie DeLuca, a leader in the Doctors for Camp Closure group, posted this from Matamoros on January 18:

Crossing back into the US from Matamoros today, I saw three children crossing the bridge alone. The older boy, about 7, was standing in the middle, holding the hands of the two young boys (4-5 years old) while Border Patrol officers looked through their documents.

I am nauseous and crying watching these children crossing alone into a new country.

Camp conditions are dangerous for children, so parents will send their children to cross alone, in hopes of getting them to safety in the US. In clinic this week I have taken care of mothers suffering from emotional trauma after they sent their kids across, hoping that a detention center in the US would be safer than a refugee camp where they are constantly under threat of kidnapping and at the mercy of infectious diseases. This is what we are doing. Forcing families to make the choice between staying together in danger or sending their children alone to safety. We could end this now.

End MPP/Remain in Mexico. NOW.

Photo taken about twenty feet from where the children were being processed by border patrol: CBP sign says “CBP welcomes your comments” and shows a picture of the Statue of Liberty. Comment line is 800 CBP 5511

Photo taken about twenty feet from where the children were being processed by border patrol: CBP sign says “CBP welcomes your comments” and shows a picture of the Statue of Liberty. Comment line is 800 CBP 5511

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