The Office of Refugee Resettlement has directed shelters to expedite the release of some unaccompanied minors with parents or legal guardians in the U.S. to reduce strained capacity at shelters.
Shelters overseen by the US government received more than 7,000 migrant children in February 2021, according to government data. This represents a record number for that month during any year.
- At this point, no one at the migrant border camp in Matamoros, Mexico, has tested positive for COVID-19. The camp is receiving support from Global Response Management (GRM). Many of the nurses and doctors running the border clinics in Matamoros are Cuban asylum seekers themselves.
- Sin Embargo reports on how Ciudad Juárez is attempting to mitigate the spread of coronavirus among migrants. The operation includes a “filter hotel,” established on May 9, where migrants who arrive in the city quarantine with frequent checkups before being allowed to access a migrant shelter. It is supervised by specialists and doctors, many of whom are migrants themselves. The “hotel” has a capacity of 108 people and has hosted 22 people so far.
- NPR releases a two-part series investigating the increasing pressure put on refugees seeking safety in the United States from the southern border. It follows migrants waiting in Ciudad Juárez who are living through the United States’ rapid policy changes, and also focuses on the support the Trump administration receives from the Mexican government despite public rejection of U.S. policies.
- TPR reports on the migrant encampment in Matamoros, Mexico, which shelters over 1,500 people. Helen Perry, executive director of Global Response Management (GRM), shares that there have not been any positive cases within the camp – a testament to the safety measures introduced. In addition to quick isolation and testing of anyone showing symptoms, GRM and its volunteers are rapidly constructing tented hospitals and manufacturing over 100 hand-made masks every day.
- The New York Times reports on La 72, a large migrant shelter in southern Mexico. In the past, it has sheltered as many as 2,000 migrants in a month. According to the report, traffic has come to a grinding halt since late March, with less than 100 migrants passing through and nearly all headed south attempting to return to Central America.
Caption: “A family pictured outside a shelter for refugees and asylum-seekers in Tapachula, Mexico, in September 2019.”
An interview with Joanna Williams, Director of Education and Advocacy at the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Arizona/Sonora.