Is there a growing migrant crisis on the US-Mexico border?
DW, 28 Mar 2021
President Joe Biden's administration has been facing criticism for apparent secrecy over detention center conditions on the southern US border. Pictures have emerged that show immigrant children at a center huddled together in crowded rooms. DW correspondent Carolina Chimoy went to meet some of the volunteers trying to help asylum seekers start a new life.
A group of 57 immigrants, most of them from Central America, just crossed the border between Mexico and the US and they have been caught by the authorities.
Once on US-soil they are looking for the Border Patrol - not only because they are tired, thirsty and hungry - but also because they want to start the asylum process as soon as possible.
A short distance from the natural border - the river - comes the unfinished fence, that makes up one third of the over 3100km southern border.
The construction has stopped under the Biden administration.
Raquel and Jose Luis are friends. They both grew up near the border. Her grandmother came from Mexico, his father as well, in a time of no barriers between Mexico and the US.
The bus arrives to carry the young parents and their kids to the closest detention center.
At least 150,000 asylum seekers with children have been caught in the past weeks and are being held under custody. That's a big challenge for the current administration, because safety is one of the main reasons that forced them to escape from places where criminal activity is part of their everyday life.
Cameras are not allowed inside the detention center. Even basic information about the number of immigrants and how long they are being detained is not released, but pictures taken by a Democratic Congressman show that the conditions insight are terrible – especially for kids.
The Republican Party is using this as a political tool against the Biden administration and his party. They are also portraying immigrants as a national security threat.
Once release, volunteers guide them. Some young asylum seekers are being held in custody over the legal limit of 72 hours, all this after an epic journey.
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