In Tijuana, asylum seekers sleep in the mud, without needed food, restrooms or medical care

TheHill | 12/20/2018 | Anne Chandler, opinion contributor
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As the migrant “caravan” continues to dominate headlines, many of us are focusing on protecting the rights of those who are fleeing violence in their homelands. I recently traveled to Tijuana where I volunteered at a legal information table under a tent outside of Benito Juarez sports complex, a temporary shelter for roughly 6,000 Central Americans. What I saw was appalling, and a direct result of the fabricated crisis created by this administration.

One fact about the shelter became immediately clear. The shelter did not, in fact, provide shelter. It is an uncovered sports arena, which provided no refuge from the rains that arrived midweek. Most parents lacked access to a tent or a tarp to keep themselves or their children dry. Sleeping pads became wet, muddy sponges. The raw sewage that lingered near the portable toilets quickly spread, oozing its way quickly across the hardened ground and into the families’ belongings.

Ones - Child - Comfort - Diaper - Number

I realized only a few lucky ones were able to provide their child the temporary comfort of a clean diaper. I was startled at the number of sick children and parents lacking access to these basic supplies. One mother cradling a moaning 3-year-old child in her arms explained to me the various injuries she suffered at the hands of her abusive husband. She kept pausing during her description of why she left her country with her children to point out the blood in her child’s stool, and that she could not sleep at night out of fear that her child might not make it.

Many also expressed concerns about safety in the shelter. We learned that women and children were taking showers in the open with their bodies completely exposed and with very little security. It was from this environment that I explained to the mothers, who shivered through wet...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TheHill
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