I was excited on Sunday, Nov. 24 to see the article on “The Other Border” and to read the subsequent articles. Clearly there is an alternate story that needs to be told in the north of the inhumane process going on at our southern border.
I have just returned (Nov. 18) from a four-day border immersion experience in the Rio Grande Valley in both Texas (McAllen and Brownsville) and Mexico (Matamoros).
The experience takes your breath away, of walking through the tent like structures in surprising cold and wet weather with families seeking to be safe from life threatening violence based on who they are (race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion). Currently they have come primarily from Central America and a few from places in Mexico where drug cartels and gangs control the streets.
Complicated by the violation of International Law (1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees) and treaties with Mexico regarding the management of the levees, I am haunted by the rigid implementation of a current Migrant Protection Policy (MPP).
It requires asylum seekers to remain in Mexico until their first hearing, which occurs in tents on the United States side. Their asylum petition is beamed to judges in bricks and mortar locations and then they are returned to Mexico to wait for subsequent hearings for which they may be eligible.
On the American side in this small border area of the Rio Grande Valley, I witnessed the incredible effort of humanitarian aid. It is insufficient for the need and for the crisis generated by the rigorous implementation of inhumane policies of the United States government and the capitulation by the Mexican government to the U.S. demands.
Kathleen Diane Greenaway