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Food missionaries serve migrants trapped between two border walls

Improvised camp set up in Tijuana

Casa de la Luz along with a member of the mosque in Playas adapted meals for Muslims. - Image by Luis Gutierrez
Casa de la Luz along with a member of the mosque in Playas adapted meals for Muslims.

Since the March 11 end of Title 42, which requires asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while their process is worked on, migrants crossed the first wall of the two existing border walls. Small groups started to gather along the wall and as the word spread, women, children, and families joined the crowds. Around 300 people held by migration agents got trapped in between walls. An improvised camp was set up by the migrants while waiting their turn for their cases to be processed. Meanwhile, they had to figure out by themselves how to survive with the few belongings they'd carried.

Around 300 people got trapped between walls.

The only way they had to get food at first was to order it delivered. As deliverers noticed how much food migrants needed, they came up with chicken, pizza, sandwiches, burritos, or other food ready for sale. At some point, vendors raised their prices considerably, up to 200 pesos (11 U.S. dollars) above the products' usual value.

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As the word spread, women, children, and families joined the crowds.

Irvin Mondagron from the shelter Casa de Luz explained that they saw something like this coming and because other migrants in the shelter are helping others like them it was easier to get organized to cook meals to give away.

“We were giving two meals for four days till they were taken. Mainly we gave burritos (because they could be vegetarian), atol (traditional hot drink made out of corn), coffee, and fruits daytime and nighttime. We noticed later there were other groups formed by Muslims and Africans which were located in really difficult spots to access. A residential housing area denied us permission to walk through it and hand out meals to the migrants.”

At some point, vendors raised their prices considerably.

Casa de la Luz along with a member of the mosque in Playas de Tijuana adapted meals for Muslims. In the field things turned a little insecure when vendors intimidated one of the female volunteers when giving away dinner, saying that the area could be dangerous that late.

Groups formed by Muslims and Africans were located in really difficult spots to access.

Irving noted how some Uber Eats drivers bragged about exchanging a watch for a fried chicken. The feeling that vendors were taking advantage of migrants' hardships was common among other activists and volunteers. Karen Olvera, midwife and social worker on a non-profit, which handed out formula for children and dehydration solutions, plus blankets, and diapers, said she was ashamed of how some people were getting profits.

Other non-profits like Al Otro Lado showed solidarity with food, blankets, diapers, clothing. Helped by groups of journalists, community kitchen projects or other non-profits from both the U.S. and Mexico migrants stayed warm trapped in between the walls.

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Casa de la Luz along with a member of the mosque in Playas adapted meals for Muslims. - Image by Luis Gutierrez
Casa de la Luz along with a member of the mosque in Playas adapted meals for Muslims.

Since the March 11 end of Title 42, which requires asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while their process is worked on, migrants crossed the first wall of the two existing border walls. Small groups started to gather along the wall and as the word spread, women, children, and families joined the crowds. Around 300 people held by migration agents got trapped in between walls. An improvised camp was set up by the migrants while waiting their turn for their cases to be processed. Meanwhile, they had to figure out by themselves how to survive with the few belongings they'd carried.

Around 300 people got trapped between walls.

The only way they had to get food at first was to order it delivered. As deliverers noticed how much food migrants needed, they came up with chicken, pizza, sandwiches, burritos, or other food ready for sale. At some point, vendors raised their prices considerably, up to 200 pesos (11 U.S. dollars) above the products' usual value.

Sponsored
Sponsored

As the word spread, women, children, and families joined the crowds.

Irvin Mondagron from the shelter Casa de Luz explained that they saw something like this coming and because other migrants in the shelter are helping others like them it was easier to get organized to cook meals to give away.

“We were giving two meals for four days till they were taken. Mainly we gave burritos (because they could be vegetarian), atol (traditional hot drink made out of corn), coffee, and fruits daytime and nighttime. We noticed later there were other groups formed by Muslims and Africans which were located in really difficult spots to access. A residential housing area denied us permission to walk through it and hand out meals to the migrants.”

At some point, vendors raised their prices considerably.

Casa de la Luz along with a member of the mosque in Playas de Tijuana adapted meals for Muslims. In the field things turned a little insecure when vendors intimidated one of the female volunteers when giving away dinner, saying that the area could be dangerous that late.

Groups formed by Muslims and Africans were located in really difficult spots to access.

Irving noted how some Uber Eats drivers bragged about exchanging a watch for a fried chicken. The feeling that vendors were taking advantage of migrants' hardships was common among other activists and volunteers. Karen Olvera, midwife and social worker on a non-profit, which handed out formula for children and dehydration solutions, plus blankets, and diapers, said she was ashamed of how some people were getting profits.

Other non-profits like Al Otro Lado showed solidarity with food, blankets, diapers, clothing. Helped by groups of journalists, community kitchen projects or other non-profits from both the U.S. and Mexico migrants stayed warm trapped in between the walls.

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