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U.S. Administration Is Neglecting the Real Emergency at the Border

In response to President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S. southern border as a means to direct funding to unnecessary border security measures, Physicians for Human Rights issued the statement below asserting the administration’s grievous neglect of the real emergency at the border – the threat to asylum seekers’ safety.

Kathryn Hampton, who coordinates Physicians for Human Rights’ Asylum Network program, said, “The only emergency is a human rights crisis of the administration’s own making in its denial of asylum seekers’ basic health and human rights. Funding is being misdirected from appropriate staffing at ports of entry, the efficient processing of asylum seekers waiting in desperation and in danger on the Mexican side of the border, and the provision of adequate medical care to those in custody.”

Hampton can discuss the strong cases for asylum PHR is learning about through medical evaluations of and interviews with migrants seeking to cross the border, as well as provide analysis and context for how U.S. policy is affecting these migrants.

Additional resources:

  • PHR’s latest policy brief, “Zero Protection,” analyzes records of harmful practices by U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel. Turning away asylum seekers at ports of entry, dumping water left for migrants crossing the desert, and patrolling hospitals in search of undocumented individuals are some examples of how U.S. agents regularly violate migrants’ right to seek asylum and even endanger their lives.
  • PHR has found that the administration’s “metering” system, which has frequently allowed as few as 15-30 people to apply for asylum each day, is leaving thousands waiting in Mexico and causing the humanitarian crisis at the border.
  • PHR’s Twitter feed includes content and video interviews with its medical research team (here and here) shot earlier this month in Tijuana, which provide additional context for their observations of the medical situation of migrants at the border.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.