This message came across the OWLS listserve yesterday. If you are looking for a way to respond to the images of toddlers fleeing through clouds of tear gas, this may be of interest to you. Al Otro Lado is one of the groups highlighted on earlier pages of this blog:
Forwarding from a friend (a US immigration attorney who lives in Tijuana):
Hey colleagues — so you may have gathered that the border apocalypse has descended upon us, well with the U.S. government throwing tear gas in the faces of three year olds and shooting refugees with rubber bullets.
Tijuana has transformed into a sprawling refugee camp. There are more than 4,000 refugees from the Exodus here, with thousands more to arrive in the coming two weeks. Al Otro Lado needs your help. It may take several weeks to three months for all of them to process through.
We need attorneys with asylum experience to help conduct know-your-rights charlas and consults with refugees identified as among the most vulnerable. We are also in need of LEGAL OBSERVERS (read: don’t need asylum experience) to monitor human rights at the port-of-entry as hundreds of refugees attempt to get on the “wait list” (which is illegal by the way, and one of the reasons we are suing them, but, exists nonetheless).
We have helpful training materials for you to prepare for your trip, materials for you to use in shelter presentations and consults, as well as materials on volunteer logistics, such as lodging, transportation, etc.
If you do not speak Spanish, that is okay. We have volunteer interpreters. If you want to bring your support staff, cool. Bring them. We need support from your support staff too. If you want to bring your mother, your cousin, your best friend from law school. Cool. We have work for them to do too.
We are in a moment of crisis, and even a few days of your time and expertise could help make a world of difference. Please complete the form at the link below: