The end of Title 42 and a bunch of new regulations is causing an onslaught of U.S.-bound asylum seekers to descend on Mexican border cities, causing overcrowding in shelters and straining local resources, NPR is reporting.
"It's an hour wait for the bathroom, you can wait days for a shower," 26-year-old Milien Jean from Haiti, here with her husband and 3-year-old son, told NPR from a 100-person capacity shelter in Mexico City. "Sometimes there's not enough drinking water."
Known as the CAFEMIN, the shelter is normally a quiet, calming place for those seeking asylum in the United States to wait for their turn, but with the May 11 end of Title 42 and new U.S. immigration regulations, the center has become more chaotic, according to the report.
The report said the shelter has seen a five-fold increase in occupants, with more than 500 people coming in on some nights as the migrants deal with a now unknown future and path to entering the U.S. border.
"This is extremely painful for me," Sister Magdalena Silva, director of CAFEMIN, a nonprofit shelter run by the Roman Catholic community Hermanas Josefinas, said in the report. "We're between a rock and a hard place."
Sister Magdalena said that many of the migrants, including those with babies and children are limited to stay just a week at the shelter and then may have to sleep on the streets increasing pressure on overcrowded Mexican border towns relief services.
"At the end of the day, the nonprofit shelters are the only ones doing what we can," Sister Magdalena said in the report. "There is not the least political will to resolve this humanitarian crisis."
She said that shelters there do not have funding from the government, like in the United States, and rely on donations and money from the United Nations to serve the growing migrant population.
The U.N.'s refugee agency, UNHCR, told NPR in a statement that it is concerned about the increases in Mexican border cities as the U.S. implements new policies to make migrants stay in Mexico until their asylum cases are heard.
"[We are] concerned about the pressure on nonprofit shelters for refugees and migrants in southern Mexico and Mexico City," the organization said in a statement to the news outlet. “The migrants] do not have information about their legal process and face a lack of reception capacity in Mexico and uncertainty about their legal or migration status."
In addition to dealing with the new migrants coming to the United States, the border towns are dealing with as many as 1,000 migrants expelled by the U.S. each day, the report said.
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