Dass die Zustände an der US-amerikanischen Südgrenze zu Mexiko besonders für Kinder unhaltbar sind, überrascht nicht. Seit September 2018 sind sechs Kinder aus Süd- und Lateinamerika in amerikanischem Gewahrsam ums Leben gekommen. Wie gravierend die Zustände in den US-amerikanischen Kinder-Grenzlagern sind, veröffentlicht eine Gruppe von Anwält*innen, die zum Beispiel die Clint border facility in Texas inspizierten.
Die Anwält*innen berichten von katastrophaler Überbelegung und Unterkünften, vorgesehen für 35 Personen, die mit bis zu 155 Menschen belegt seien. Einige der Häftlinge seien seit Tagen nur unter „Stehplatz-Bedingungen“ festgehalten und stünden, um Platz zu schaffen, auf den Toiletten. Die Versorgung der Minderjährigen sei katastrophal. Die unbegleiteten Minderjährigen seien nur von anderen unbegleiteten Minderjährigen versorgt. Einige hätten bereits die Grenze alleine überquert, andere seien nach dem Grenzübertritt von ihren Familienangehörigen getrennt worden.
“Border Patrol agents told us some of the detainees had been held in standing-room-only conditions for days or weeks,” the inspector general’s office said in its report, which noted that some detainees were observed standing on toilets in the cells “to make room and gain breathing space, thus limiting access to the toilets.” […]
Children as young as 7 and 8, many of them wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, are caring for infants they’ve just met, the lawyers said. Toddlers without diapers are relieving themselves in their pants. Teenage mothers are wearing clothes stained with breast milk. […]
Together, the group of six lawyers met with 60 children in Clint this week who ranged from 5 months to 17 years old. The infants were either children of minor parents, who were also detained, or had been separated from adult family members with whom they had crossed the border. The separated children were now alone, being cared for by other young detainees.
Auch die Versorgung mit Nahrungsmitteln – Instantprodukte und gefrorenen Burritos sowie Kekse und Saftpäckchen, kein Obst und Gemüse – sei mehr als unzureichend. Nahezu jedes Kind, mit dem die Anwält*innen gesprochen haben, sei hungrig. Der Zugang zu medizinischer Versorgung sei quasi nicht existent, aber viele Kinder seien krank. Dass sei auch den hygienischen Bedingungen im Lager geschuldet. Die Kinder berichteten, dass sie sich seit ihrer Ankunft nicht waschen konnten, Seife, Zahnbürste und -pasta beispielsweise gäbe es keine. Es sei dreckig und stinke. Die Unterbringung in den Lagern an der Grenze sei normalweise nur bis zu 72 Stunden vorgesehen, viele Kinder seien bereits bis zu vier Wochen im Lager. Ihre Wachen vom Zoll und Grenzschutz trügen Volluniformen, einschließlich ihrer Waffen, und bedeckten ihre Gesichter mit Masken, um sich vor den unhygienischen Bedingungen zu schützen. Kindgerechte Spielmöglichkeiten oder Unterbringungen gäbe es nicht.
Most of the young detainees have not been able to shower or wash their clothes since they arrived at the facility, those who visited said. They have no access to toothbrushes, toothpaste or soap. […]
Ms. Mukherjee said children were being overseen by guards for Customs and Border Protection, which declined to comment for this story. She and her colleagues observed the guards wearing full uniforms — including weapons — as well as face masks to protect themselves from the unsanitary conditions. […]
“The children are locked in their cells and cages nearly all day long,” Ms. Mukherjee said. “A few of the kids said they had some opportunities to go outside and play, but they said they can’t bring themselves to play because they are trying to stay alive in there.”
In ihrem Bericht spricht die Anwältin Frau Mukherjee davon, dass die Konditionen in Clint die schlimmsten seien, die sie in ihrer zwölfjährigen Karriere gesehen habe. Frau Binford, ebenfalls Anwältin und Teil der interviewenden Gruppe, resümiert in einem Interview:
„We have seen the worst conditions that we’ve seen in the last three years of conducting these visits. […] In the Clint border facilty we are seeing sick children, we are seeing dirty children, we are seeing hungry children, we are seeing children who’ve been separated from their parents and other family members. Children who within the facility are being separated from their siblings […]. These children have been falling asleep, some of them, during the interviews with us. They have also talks about how dizzy they are, the headaches that they have. […] This was not a facility that was even on our radar until last week when we found out that children recently have started being sent there and then we arrive and we find out that there were over 350 children there when we arrived. Children were telling us that there were over 300 children in a single room. If that’s true which it appears to be then literally the United States is warehousing children […].”
A 2-year-old boy locked in detention wants to be held all the time. A few girls, ages 10 to 15, say they’ve been doing their best to feed and soothe the clingy toddler who was handed to them by a guard days ago. Lawyers warn that kids are taking care of kids, and there’s inadequate food, water and sanitation for the 250 infants, children and teens at the Border Patrol station.
The bleak portrait emerged Thursday after a legal team interviewed 60 children at the facility near El Paso that has become the latest place where attorneys say young migrants are describing neglect and mistreatment at the hands of the U.S. government.
Data obtained by The Associated Press showed that on Wednesday there were three infants in the station, all with their teen mothers, along with a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds and a 3-year-old. There are dozens more under 12. Fifteen have the flu, and 10 more are quarantined.
Three girls told attorneys they were trying to take care of the 2-year-old boy, who had wet his pants and had no diaper and was wearing a mucus-smeared shirt when the legal team encountered him.
“A Border Patrol agent came in our room with a 2-year-old boy and asked us, ‘Who wants to take care of this little boy?’ Another girl said she would take care of him, but she lost interest after a few hours and so I started taking care of him yesterday,” one of the girls said in an interview with attorneys. […]
Children told lawyers that they were fed oatmeal, a cookie and a sweetened drink in the morning, instant noodles for lunch and a burrito and cookie for dinner. There are no fruits or vegetables. They said they’d gone weeks without bathing or a clean change of clothes.
A migrant father, speaking on condition of anonymity because of his immigration status, told AP Thursday that authorities separated his daughter from her aunt when they entered the country. The girl would be a second grader in a U.S. school.
He had no idea where she was until Monday, when one of the attorney team members visiting Clint found his phone number written in permanent marker on a bracelet she was wearing. It said “U.S. parent.”
The children, all under age 3 with teenage mothers or guardians, were feverish, coughing, vomiting and had diarrhea, immigration attorneys told HuffPost on Friday. Some of the toddlers and infants were refusing to eat or drink. One 2-year-old’s eyes were rolled back in her head, and she was “completely unresponsive” and limp, according to Toby Gialluca, a Florida-based attorney. […]
The Associated Press reported this week that children in border facilities don’t have adequate access to food, water, soap or showers. On Tuesday, a Justice Department attorney argued in court that the government should not have to provide detained children with soap, toothbrushes or beds. […]
Dr. Julie Linton, the co-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics, previously told HuffPost that children can’t recover from illnesses in Border Patrol facilities. These centers are described as “hieleras” ― Spanish for iceboxes ― because of their freezing temperatures, and migrants describe sleeping on floors under bright lights that shine 24/7, with nothing but Mylar blankets to keep warm. […] “I was very, very concerned,” he said, adding lawyers spoke with immigrants in a room outside of the facility. “When she left us, I knew she was going back to a place that was cold, crowded and unsanitary.” Fassio noted that guards referred to the children as “bodies.”
Eine deutsche Zusammenfassung der Artikel publizierte auch der Spiegel unter dem Titel „Alle sind krank. Alle“. Der Artikel verweist darüber hinaus auf den Willen der US-Behören, den Zustand in den Lagern verändern zu wollen.
Ob die US-Regierung allerdings wirklich willens ist, die Zustände an der Grenze zu verbessern, ist fraglich: Vor einem US-Berufungsgericht in San Francisco vertrat eine Anwältin des Justizministeriums erst Anfang der Woche die Ansicht, Kindern in Grenzlagern stünden keine Seife oder Zahnbürsten zu – obwohl die Regelung aus dem Jahr 1997 vorschreibt, die Unterbringung müsse „sicher und hygienisch“ erfolgen. Das Argument der Regierung: Diese Gegenstände seien ja nicht ausdrücklich in der Regelung aufgeführt.
Am Dienstag, 25.06.2019 sind 249 Kinder aus der Clint border facility evakuiert worden, nachdem gravierende Missstände von Anwält*innen, die die Unterkunft inzspiziert hatten, veröffentlicht worden waren. Die Kinder sind auf andere Unterkünfte verteilt worden.
Nearly 250 migrant children have been relocated to children’s shelters from an overcrowded Texas border patrol station in the United States where lawyers said they had been held for weeks in dirty conditions without adequate food and water.
Evelyn Stauffer, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said 249 children from the facility at Clint, Texas were being transferred to shelters run by the agency by Tuesday. […] Just 30 children remained at the facility near El Paso on Monday, according to Elizabeth Lopez-Sandoval, spokeswoman for Representative Veronica Escobar. Children not sent to the HHS shelters were being moved to a tent facility designed for family detention, Lopez-Sandoval said.
US-Präsident Trump setzte als Reaktion auf die Veröffentlichung der Zustände in den Kinderlagern und auf Bitten der Demokraten eine geplante Massenabschiebung illegalisierter Migrant*innen und Geflüchteter aus.
Auf Bitten der Demokraten hatte Trump am Sonntag die angekündigte Massenabschiebung »illegaler« Migranten ausgesetzt. Auf Twitter begründete er den Schritt mit »Mitgefühl«. Gleichzeitig betonte der US-Präsident, dass es sich dabei nicht um eine Abkehr von seiner »Null-Toleranz-Politik« handele. Währenddessen macht sich Mexiko weiter zum Handlanger der US-Administration. Seit Mitte Juni setzt das Land 6.000 Nationalgardisten an der Grenze zu Guatemala gegen aus Zentralamerika kommende Migranten ein. Seit Sonntag befinden sich nun zudem Einsatzkräfte an der Grenze zu den USA.
Tuesday … more than 100 were moved back into a facility that days earlier had been emptied in the midst of criticism that young detainees there were hungry, crying and unwashed.
The transfer came just days after 249 children originally housed at the station in Clint, Tex., had been moved to other facilities to relieve overcrowding. The continuing movement of children and confusion over housing of the Border Patrol’s youngest detainees pointed to an increasingly disorganized situation along the southern border and an agency struggling to maintain minimal humanitarian standards amid an unprecedented influx of migrant families.
Die NYT berichtet, dass es den Migrant*innen, die im Mexiko auf die Entscheidung der US Behörden warten müssen, nicht viel besster geht:
Migrants in Mexico Face Kidnappings and Violence While Awaiting Immigration Hearings in U.S.
This week, Nuevo Laredo became the latest city in Mexico to be added to a program, informally known as “Remain in Mexico.” Under the policy, thousands of migrants, including many asylum seekers, have been required to stay in Mexico while they await their immigration hearings in the United States.
The program was rolled out in January, with the Mexican government’s cooperation, in an effort to take pressure off the American detention system and dissuade migrants from making the trek to the United States.
Since then, more than 18,000 migrants, many of them asylum-seekers, have been returned to Mexico through border crossings in Tijuana, Mexicali and Ciudad Juárez — despite objections from human rights advocates who argue that the program is putting migrants at great risk in cities with high levels of violence.
That opposition has grown in recent weeks as news spread that the American authorities planned to expand the program to this dangerous city in the lawless northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
In Nuevo Laredo, members of the dominant organized crime group openly prowl the streets in trucks bristling with weapons, residents say.
The State Department’s own advisory for Tamaulipas warns against all travel here. “Federal and state security forces have limited capability to respond to violence in many parts of the state,” it says.
“For us, for everyone, it’s very dangerous,” agreed Pastor Aarón Méndez Ruiz, who runs the Casa del Migrante Amar, a shelter in Nuevo Laredo.
Migrants have long been frequent targets of crime here. The risks are high enough that rather than let Mexican deportees walk from the border bridge to the state migrant reception center nearby, officials transport them in vans.