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Refugee Activist Shares First Hand Account of Border Situation

It starts off with walking, sometimes people offer a vehicle. Upon reaching train tracks, the group aboards themselves atop a cargo train - and to Alex Mensing of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, the cargo train becomes the migrants’ life line.

Pueblo Sin Fronteras is a non profit organization committed to helping displaced people. This year, the group accompanied Central American migrants as they travelled 1,000 miles north of the Mexican-Guatemalan border to the American-Mexican border.

Mensing started with the group as a volunteer, and now, he is a project coordinator that heads legal outreach and educational programs for the Central American migrants.

The purpose of the Caravan, he said, is so that refugees don’t fall victim to violence, sexual assault and bribery along the way. Despite the mentality of having power in numbers, upon arrival to the Mexican-American border, the migrants clashed head on with the Trump Administration’s zero tolerance policy - which criminally prosecuted the adults and separately detained their children.

There are over 40,000 immigrants in detention

"Currently, there “are over 40,000 immigrants in detention,” he said, and “over 1,000 people in Tijuana, Mexico trying to exercise their right to seek asylum which is guaranteed under U.S. law,” Mensing said.

Mensing stresses the discrepancies of U.S. immigration law where Attorney General Jeff Sessions says one must cross “the right way.” Yet, as the migrants try to do so, Border Patrol and ICE agents are not letting them.

“This is happening all across the US-Mexico border where people are sleeping outside U.S. ports of entry,” he said. But they are told that “there is no capacity, and that they can’t go in.”

After denial of entry into the U.S., that is when people are crossing illegally, Mensing explained.This is then met with the Trump Administration’s zero tolerance policy which has criminally prosecuted adults and stripped their children away from them.

To hear more of Mensing’s first hand account of the terrible situation at the border, watch the video below.

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