Join me today in praying for Central American asylum seekers who are seeking to come to the United States. My name is Fouad Abou-Rizk, and I write Humanitarian Prayers to raise awareness and encourage people to pray for those suffering in our world.
I pray that asylum seekers from Central America will be treated with mercy and compassion. I pray that wherever they go, they will be met by people with resources to help them.
I pray for greatly improved conditions for the thousands of asylum seekers in Tijuana. I pray there will be adequate housing and shelter, sanitation, food, clean water, and healthcare services to provide for the needs of each person. I pray that people will no longer have any other option except to sleep outside or in tents. I pray that migrants, especially children, will not continue to get sick due to the poor conditions.
I pray that the thousands of asylum seekers who have made their way to Tijuana on the Mexico-U.S. border will be allowed their legal right to seek asylum in the United States.
I pray that the U.S. policy known as metering which limits the number of people who can apply for asylum daily to small numbers will be replaced by a system that allows all who are seeking asylum to be able to apply. I pray that the border crossing in Tijuana will grow their capacity to process more asylum seekers daily and that they will do so.
I pray that for systemic changes in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador so that the rampant violence and extreme poverty that are forcing people to flee those countries will not continue. I pray that people from those countries will be able to remain there while being safe and financially secure.
Notes and Explanations
In October and November, thousands of migrants, mostly from Honduras, made a journey north with the mission to reach the southern border of the United States and seek asylum. They were referred to in the news as the Migrant Caravan and were the subject of animosity, with President Trump repeatedly referring to them as an “invasion.”
Migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador make the journey year-round. Their countries are known for extreme gang violence and poverty. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, El Salvador has the highest murder rate in the world, with almost twice as many intentional homicides as the second-highest country, Iraq. Honduras comes in third and Guatemala in tenth place.
Over seven-thousands migrants ended up making their way to Tijuana, Mexico, a U.S. border city near San Diego, California. According to the United Nations, When people flee their own country and seek sanctuary in another country, they apply for asylum – the right to be recognized as a refugee and receive legal protection and material assistance. An asylum seeker must demonstrate that his or her fear of persecution in his or her home country is well-founded. Some of these migrants are fleeing poverty, seeking jobs, and would not qualify for asylum.
The U.S. border crossing in Tijuana is allowing between 40 and 100 people to apply for asylum each day in a policy known as metering. Metering was originally put in place by the Obama Administration. At this pace, it will take months for all who are currently in Tijuana to be allowed to apply for asylum in the United States.
Thousands of asylum seekers have been living in increasingly poor conditions in Tijuana, with about 6000 previously living in tents and makeshift shelters at a sports complex until it was recently flooded, forcing them to be relocated. Large numbers of people, especially children, are getting sick due to poor living conditions.
Tijuana’s mayor has declared that the city is facing a humanitarian crisis and has asked for international support.
Due to the poor conditions and lack of hope that they will be able to enter the U.S., hundreds of people in Tijuana have volunteered to be deported back to their home countries. There is concern that the gang-heavy border states of Mexico are not safe places for asylum seekers to stay long-term.
Read a related post, The Migrant Caravan, Catholic Principles, and International Humanitarian Law addressing the subject of the migrant caravan in greater depth.
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