Another long day. We crossed the border into Mexico around 8 am and went to the mission. There were people waiting. We set up and started to see people with similar issues, viral but some with chronic medical issues. Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) showed up around 9:30. They are a Mexican team. We conferenced with them and they were happy to have us see patients. They also had a mental health worker with them which was great considering the trauma these people have been through. Seems the folks here are either waiting to cross and are here as families with protection inside these gates, or others have been deported and have nowhere to go. There are 2 men here from Uganda — surprise! They are political refugees, That is all I know.
We had to leave at 11 to get back across to Texas as we start a clinic at 12 noon at the shelter.
Here is some more info:
The shelter has a flow of over 2,000 per week. People can stay up to 4 days and they get assistance processing their bus tickets. They get clothing: Shoes are NEEDED and SMALL size pants! I think the 4 days has to do with their court dates in the cities they are going to. But I have heard that they will be sent back to detention after 4 days . . . so I’m not sure about this. I got to look at some paperwork today. There is a paper from border patrol saying they have entered the USA illegally, (but this is not true if they enter and present themselves for asylum) basically it looks like an arrest warrant from border patrol. Then there are detention papers and mug shots with finger prints, another page states a letter code and maybe a few words as to why they are released from detention. Two I saw are due to no room and one stated “did not meet criteria” – she was 9 months pregnant so that probably was the reason. This woman is trying to get to Louisville, Kentucky with her toddler and her huge pregnant belly – a 32 hour bus trip. Her family has no money to send her and she came to us asking for help.
ANYONE INTERESTED IN DONATING TOWARDS HER BUS TICKET FOR HER AND HER KID – $450 thru Hands on Global paypal. This donation has to happen really soon or I heard she will get sent back to detention, though I’m not sure about this as she is pregnant.
Last evening at the shelter a local bank, IDC BANK, hosted a dinner for everyone in the shelter. It was lovely: there was rice and beans and meat tortillas and soda, they brought in tables with tablecloths and served everyone with such kindness. A woman with a microphone was giving information about the forms they were given and how to get legal advice. This shelter is supported by the community here, volunteers are here for hours everyday. The atmosphere is friendly and helpful. I’m not sure where the money for food comes from, clothing is donated – everyday we see people dropping donations off.
We are seeing an average of 60 people a day, mostly viral infections, a few more serious and mostly kids, everyone is grateful.
I can assure you all NONE OF THESE PEOPLE ARE “BAD” – – – people ignore #45!!!!!!!