A PHR team recently met with asylum seekers who are gathered on the Tijuana side of the border awaiting entry to the United States. Our team visited a number of shelters overflowing with migrants – thousands of them women and children – from Central America. The Benito Juarez Sports Facility, which housed more than 5,000 mostly-Honduran asylum seekers in tents and makeshift structures on a playing field, was hit by rare torrential rains. The heavy downpour quickly turned the already-desperate situation into a squalid morass. On November 30, the majority of migrants were moved from the drenched location to another venue 20 miles south called El Barretal – a partially-covered concert arena – where they hope to find longer-term refuge while in Mexico.
Now that PHR is in Tijuana, our teams are preparing for weeks, or even months, of documenting and investigating the violations endured by this population so that we can assist them in getting the help they so desperately need.