La Semana

Human rights violations alleged at U.s.mexico Border


For several months, Border Patrol o-cers have forced asylum seekers to wait outdoors for several hours or days between sections of the San Diego border walls and other open-air sites in the Jacumba desert, where they aren’t allowed to leave and don’t have adequate access to water, food, sanitation, medical care, or protection from the elements.

The 88-page complaint was Kled by the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS), Internatio­nal Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), and National Immigratio­n Law Center (NILC) on behalf of Al Otro Lado, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Border Kindness, and Southern Border Communitie­s Coalition (SBCC).

This is a second federal complaint Kled against the CRCL for violations of human rights for its practices at the open-air detention sites, following a complaint Kled by SBCC on May 13, 2023, shortly after the violations were Krst documented. However, the inhumane conditions at the open-air detention sites have not changed and are spreading to other sites along the southern border.

In the subsequent months, at least one person has tragically died while trapped in an openair detention site, and conditions are expected to deteriorat­e as winter weather intensikes, further endangerin­g those exposed to the elements.

“It is galling that the Department of Homeland

Security claims that their ‘lack of resources’ compels them to hold vulnerable refugees in open-air prisons without food, water, shelter, adequate sanitation facilities, or medical care,” said Erika Pinheiro, Executive Director of Al Otro Lado. “DHS’ 2023 budget is almost $170 billion, yet it forces overstretc­hed nonprokts, mutual aid groups, and dedicated volunteers to provide the basics that migrants need to survive in its open-air detention sites. Holding refugees in these inhumane conditions is a deliberate choice that contradict­s the United States’ self-proclaimed position as a bastion of freedom and human rights.”

Pedro Rios, Director of the American Friends Service Committee’s Us-mexico Border Program, agreed.

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