We are receiving reports from an individual who has joined SALEF on aid trips to Tijuana, and who is currently in the shelter, that the Mexican government has maintained a police presence at the shelter and is continuing to seek the removal of migrants from this location to either El Barretal or elsewhere. Additionally, our contact states that the police at the shelter are attempting to identify all legal observers, particularly American and other non-Mexican nationals, and to remove them from the shelter.
There are currently eight Mexican federal police officers along the barrier in front of the shelter that was erected yesterday restricting entry to individuals. If migrants leave to go to work, as many have been granted temporary work permits from the Mexican government and are currently employed, they risk not being permitted back in.
Migrants cannot go out to purchase supplies, so all food, water, and basic necessities such as toilet paper, are being supplied by various organizations and private individuals. Only migrants currently inside the shelter are being allowed to cross the front gate to the building and receive supplies over the barrier.
Foreign nationals present in the shelter are there to observe the treatment of the migrants and to ensure the government respects international human rights standards. At this time the members of the Central American Caravan are being forced out of the shelter if they approach the area near the front gate.
The police have been asking some of the Americans inside the shelter for identification and have stated that Mexican law requires these observers to have official identification. However, an American lawyer at the shelter has confirmed with a Mexican lawyer who has assured our contact that the American citizens have the right to be present, but that they must not interfere with any government activities or they risk being arrested.
According to Mexican authorities, the eviction order is still in place. Health inspectors claim that the shelter is not sanitary, however our contacts, including individuals currently present at the shelter, dispute this claim. This confirms our belief that the presence of outside observers is critical to preventing the Mexican authorities from forcibly removing the members of the caravan from this dry, clean, and secure location.
We can also confirm that at least one group of anti-immigrant individuals, from both Mexico and the US, have been a presence on the ground outside the shelter. They are using social media to spread conjecture and blatant misinformation about the migrants and groups like SALEF that are working to ensure fair and legal treatment of the migrants.
Our source is currently inside the shelter and has shared the images and video below with us. This situation is developing and we will continue to share confirmed information as we have it.