The Binational Save Asylum Coalition continues to lift up the plight of the migrants waiting at our southern border to ask for asylum. Currently, the border remains closed to most migrants. Some migrants have left the Nogales area because conditions there remain difficult and dangerous despite attempts to work with the local government. Others have started to cross through the desert and try to make their way to safety. With the continuations of programs that deny them entry such as Title 42 which does not allow them to apply for asylum and the reinstitution of the Remain in Mexico program where they must wait in Mexico until their court date, migrants have become discouraged.
In response to this situation, Save Asylum is planning to create a video documentary to use an educational tool that will promote increased awareness and action towards ending Title 42 and fully restoring asylum access at the US-Mexico border. The video will highlight the realities of the Mexico- U.S. Border depicted through interviews with immigrants who are affected by said immigration policies and implementations. This will allow people distant from the border the opportunity to virtually meet one or more asylum seekers and hear about their lives, experience, hopes, etc. so as to inform and connect a wide variety of viewers, to humanize the border, as well as promote advocacy, action, and change.
Additionally, the migrant organizers in Nogales are still in the process of thinking through our plans for advocacy this year. For now, they are focusing on the video project and on local-level advocacy to address significant issues that migrants face while they are waiting in Nogales such as the access to basic resources because of discrimination against migrants. For some time, it was difficult for the migrants to access COVID-19 vaccines because they didn’t have local ID cards. After working with municipal health officials and the mayor, the group has been able to get information about vaccination efforts that the other migrants can access and pass along to the rest of the migrant population. They have faced some difficulties getting access to schools, who won’t enroll children for partial school years or won’t certify that the children completed a grade level. They hope to bring up these issues with state-level human rights bodies so that the kids can enroll in schools.
More details will follow in the coming weeks.
Janis Sherick, Save Asylum Coalition Member.