The United States has been working to unwind a migration policy known as “Title 42”. On May 20th, a Louisiana judge blocked the government from ending Title 42, an immigration policy that was set to expire on May 23, allowing thousands more asylum seekers to enter the US. Title 42 was implemented in March of 2020, to curb the spread of COVID-19, though public health officials have long argued that it was never necessary and current CDC officials maintain that this policy does not have an impact on public health in the United States.
Since February 2021, Americares has sent 16 shipments of medicines and supplies to 7 partners in NM, CA, AZ, and TX valued at over $600,000 and weighing more than 15 tons. The most recent shipment departed the Distribution Center on April 7. In addition, one flash grant was provided to Catholic Charities of Rio Grande Valley in TX to purchase supplies for mothers and children staying overnight at the Respite Center. The Emergency Response Team continues to join monthly Border Alliance coordination calls and field request for support from partners providing support along the border.
To support organizations working to protect the health of migrants, Americares sent a team to California and Arizona to meet with partners and coordinate support options. The team has had many meetings with clinics, social service providers, and partner NGOs all working on different aspects of support. Discussions are ongoing, though conversations in person revealed a wide range of needs, including hygiene products, over the counter and prescription medications, and additional funding to support increasing staff needs.
In other border activity in September 2021, extreme poverty, political turmoil, gang violence and the mounting threat of deadly natural disasters has forced thousands of Haitian migrants to flee their homes in recent years in search of safety and a better life.
An estimated 15,000 migrants including families, pregnant women and children, arrived at the Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, seeking asylum in the United States. Migrants converged under the bridge, creating a makeshift camp where the situation has turned dire. They faced scorching temperatures, unsanitary conditions and shortages of food and clean water as they waited to be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Many also needed basic health services.
Americares offered assistance to two partner organizations directly supporting migrants in Del Rio.