ICRC Says Worried Over Possible Lack Of Shelters On Mexico Border Due To US Migrant Policy

ICRC Says Worried Over Possible Lack of Shelters on Mexico Border Due to US Migrant Policy

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned about the potential lack of space in already overcrowded shelters on the US-Mexico border and a growth in illegal migration due to the United States' "Remain in Mexico" migration policy, Jordi Raich Curco, the head of the ICRC regional delegation in Mexico and Central America, told Sputnik

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th March, 2019) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned about the potential lack of space in already overcrowded shelters on the US-Mexico border and a growth in illegal migration due to the United States' "Remain in Mexico" migration policy, Jordi Raich Curco, the head of the ICRC regional delegation in Mexico and Central America, told Sputnik.

"We are concerned because ... if there is going to be a large number of persons that will be sent back to wait in these very same shelters [along the border] ... this will put a lot of strain into the system of shelters which is already overburdened. Therefore this can be an issue," Raich Curco said.

Even before the "Remain in Mexico" policy was introduced, shelters where migrants stayed before trying to cross to the United States were overcrowded, he added.

"We are also working to evaluate the needs, see what else can we do in case of a big influx, but the number of physical structures is limited. There is a limited number of shelters that you can construct in a short time. So this is a worry," Raich Curco noted.

Nonetheless, the situation with migrant facilities has been improving, as evidenced by the fact that migrant caravans originating in Central American countries have started traveling much faster due to local authorities learning to better provide help.

"The last caravan was much faster because now there are beginning to be transport systems in place, or taxi drivers that will offer a ride for a low price and people will take it ... In this last [caravan] the response from the authorities to provide them an area to sit and sleep and to provide them with food and with toilets - it is much better organized. Lessons are being learned as caravans pass by," Raich Curco said.

For the ICRC and the Mexican Red Cross it has been a challenge to keep supporting and providing the migrants traveling as part of caravans with basic services, like access to health and communication means, he noted.

Earlier in March, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed concern over the US migration policy, which sends asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims are being processed. The policy doesn't apply to minors entering the United States without adults or asylum-seekers from Mexico.

Your Thoughts and Comments