Large numbers of Central Americans are no longer appearing at our border seeking a better life. The government of Mexico, under pressure from President Trump, is keeping most of them from getting here. Mexico has reinforced both its southern border and its border with the U.S.
Nonetheless, thousands of people have made it to our border. Instead of following our prior practice of letting them into the U.S. while we consider their requests for asylum, we are forcing them to wait in Mexico.
The conditions on the Mexican side of our border are awful. Neither our government nor the Mexican government is providing adequate food, shelter, or medicine to the asylum seekers. Fresh water, bathing facilities, and toilets are in short supply. Diseases spread quickly through the tent-camps where people are concentrated. The only life-support many of these desperate people get comes from American volunteers who walk over the bridge from the U.S. each day carrying food and supplies that have been donated.
We worked with activists from around the country to bring attention to the immigrant children’s prisons, and we had great success. Several of those horrible places were closed, and the children were freed. Because people showed up at city council meetings and objected, San Antonio, Texas, Universal City, Texas, and Marietta, Georgia have recently refused to allow immigrant children’s prisons to open there, and our fellow activists are working right now to prevent such prisons from opening in other towns. Citizen involvement works!
Starting on January 12, we will begin a new effort. This time we are not only focusing on individual detention facilities. We will be calling for reversal of the Trump policies that force asylum seekers to remain in Mexico. We hope to maintain a regular presence in Brownsville, Texas, at the border crossing that leads into Matamoros, Mexico, where thousands of immigrants are stranded. Once again, we will be bringing attention to a problem that might otherwise fall out of the public consciousness as other news stories emerge.
If you think you might want to stand witness at the border for a few hours or a few days, you can get more information here:
Or you can just contact me through the website I will try to answer any questions you have. We will need people not just on January 12, but for as long as it takes to restore decency to our country’s treatment of migrants.
Contributions to help this effort can be made online at:
or you can send a check to Peaceful Communities, Inc., PO Box 2324, Northbrook, IL 60065. Contributions are not tax deductible.
Thanks to everyone who has gone to the border, who will go, and who is supporting this effort in any way.
Peaceful Communities, Inc.