The existing Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, have criminalized asylum and dehumanized asylum-seeking individuals. MPP requires asylum seekers who arrive at any U.S. port of entry across the entire southern border to wait in Mexico while their cases are processed in U.S. immigration courts. Using testimonio research, this study presents the artistic accounts of 7 Central American asylum-seeking children who are living in a “migrant camp” in Matamoros, Tamaulipas next to the Gateway International Bridge. Migrant camps are open-air tent encampments in which asylum seekers are living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions while they await their asylum interview. These hazardous conditions make them susceptible to respiratory diseases such as coronavirus (COVID-19). Sharing these experiences is critical to ensure that health professionals’ advocacy efforts reflect asylum seekers’ needs and life experiences. Given the violence inflicted by MPP and the risks associated with COVID-19, this manuscript demands the end of this policy to protect the psychological health of an already vulnerable community, asylum seeking children. Advocacy implications are also discussed.
Hernandez-Arriaga, Belinda and Dominguez, Daniela, "Dibujando En Tent City: Art By Asylum Seeking Children in the U.S. - Mexico Border" (2020). Psychology. 69.