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Haiti – Mexico : In Tijuana, Haitian refugees live in an overcrowded and unworthy camps

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Haiti – Mexico : In Tijuana, Haitian refugees live in an overcrowded and unworthy camps

27/04/2021 09:06:11

In Tijuana, Baja California, more than 300 refugee families have been living in a camp since February a month after Joe Biden’s government began. Most of them come from Honduras, Haiti and Cuba, fleeing the violence and misery of their countries in search of international protection and a better life.

The living conditions there are “extremely precarious and unworthy […] Asylum seekers face the cold, the camp is overcrowded and they do not have access to water or sufficient antibacterial gel and anti-Covid masks […] many cases of gastroenteritis and respiratory diseases have been recorded” reveals a report from the “Colegio de la Frontera Norte” which explains “these families, whom many are women and children, live without health services, under small tarpaulins placed on the square, the sidewalk or the street and are not able to protect themselves from a climate which has been particularly cold and rainy […] The installation of sanitary services is urgent, as well as the distribution of personal hygiene kits and face masks by municipal authorities.”

“It is not common that they are refugee camps in Tijuana with such precarious conditions […] What is deplorable is the authorities’ neglect of migrants and humanitarian emergencies.,” said researcher Juan Antonio del Monte, in charge of monitoring migrants, adding “[…] Some people in the camp do not have adequate clothing for the weather in these months and many are barefoot. Many refugees do not have mattresses or enough blankets or tarpaulins […] furthermore the overcrowding of tents and the narrow public spaces prevent the necessary distance to protect themselves from Covid-19. Migrants in this camp cannot access water and sanitation. To go to the toilet, they go through neighboring businesses, but some charge disproportionately for this service, thus preventing essential hand washing […]”

On the border with Mexico, President Joe Biden announced the end of the program known as “Stay in Mexico” and gave the green light for the readmission of asylum seekers who had been waiting in this country since 2018 and who had opened files in US immigration courts. This involves the gradual entry, in groups of 25 to 80 people per day at five land entry points, of around 25,000 asylum seekers. This is not the case with the thousands of people who came later.

SL/ HaitiLibre