Witnessing At The Border

Indivisible members travel to Texas-Mexico border to witness situation of asylum seekers

3/1/2020

Members of Indivisible groups throughout Florida are traveling to Brownsville, Texas to witness the appalling situation of asylum seekers at the Mexican border there. The Indivisible Florida Network is encouraging group members to go witness at the border in Brownsville. It is imperative that the world learns what is happening there.

Matamoros, Mexico, across the Rio Grande River from Brownsville, has the largest unofficial “refugee camp” of migrants forced back into Mexico by the US “metering” policy, inaccurately called the Migrant Protection Protocols, but generally referred to as “Remain in Mexico.” Camp residents have been victims of murder, rape, kidnapping and robbery. 

Witness at the Border, originally Witness At Tornillo, is the eyes, ears, and voice for people who only want to live safely in a country to which they can contribute. Witnesses gather at the Brownsville/Matamoros border with signs and banners. They conduct visits to the camps where asylum seekers await hearings. They are the “boots on the ground,” protesting what is being done in our name, watching, and conveying information that is not readily available to most Americans. They do this so that people will know and will act on what they know.

Get Involved

To become a Witness at the Border go to WitnessAtTheBorder.org. There is also information here.

If you cannot travel to Brownsville, please support those who can. Englewood Indivisible members Kathy and Trisha who have been giving presentations about their first trip to the border and preparing to go back again, would appreciate any financial support you can offer. Contact them by emailing EnglewoodIndivisible@gmail.com.  

When they’re in town, Trisha and Kathy welcome invitations to give their presentation on conditions at the border. Their photos accompany this post.

These groups working in the border region welcome your contributions.

 

Background

The Remain in Mexico policy sends people arriving at the U.S. southern border who are fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries back into Mexico to wait for an asylum hearing before a U.S. immigration judge. The policy has dramatically changed the processing of asylum claims in the U.S. and made it far more difficult for migrants to receive a fair and complete review of their claims as required under both U.S. and international law.

Largely unseen except by the witnesses, the conditions in Matamoros include a high level of violence against young girls and women, abductions, rape, kidnapping and extortion. Family separation continues as parents are forced to make impossible choices, sending kids alone into the U.S.

Indivisibles have been protesting the Trump immigration policies since 2018 when the administration separated asylum-seeking parents and children, some of whom have yet to be reunited. Many Indivisible members traveled to Homestead, Florida to witness the child detention facility there. The witness at Homestead attracted the support of political candidates and the media and Homestead was ultimately closed.

In the news

"In the Midst of a Border Crisis, Cooking Is About More Than Survival," reported Bon Appetit

 

  • Migrants wait on bridge to make their asylum claims or attend their perfunctory hearings.