SAN DIEGO — A group of doctors from the United States traveled south of the border to evaluate migrants seeking asylum Sunday.
The doctors are part of an international organization called Physicians for Human Rights. The organization investigates and documents human rights violations.
They went to Tijuana in order to examine the physical and mental health of the migrants.
The group believes evaluations are extremely important when determining if someone is granted asylum.
Dr. Mary Cheffers, who specializes in emergency medicine at the USC Care Medical Group Inc., was one of the doctors who examined several families.
“These are people with incredibly hard circumstances that are seeking survival and safety,” said Dr. Cheffers.
Cheffers explained one of the families is seeking asylum to escape human trafficking in their home country. “A mom is trying to keep her kids away from people who are extorting children for their organs and money on the dark sex market,” said Cheffers.
The group does not agree with the new US policy that sent some asylum seekers back to Mexico while they wait for their court appearance. Those without proper documentation will remain in Tijuana for the duration of the immigration process.
The Department of Homeland Security called the policy “”methodical approach to reducing the flow of unchecked mass migration at the southern border” and said the implementation will begin with a small number of people and then “grow bigger,” CNN reported.
Members of the organization believe the migrants are currently living in dangerous conditions, according to PHR Network Program Officer Kathryn Hampton.
“People have followed some of these families to the border. They are hunting them down and so it’s unsafe for families and children to live in Tijuana for months at a time as their proceedings happen in the US,” said Hampton.