LOS ANGELES — During President’s Day weekend, Los Angeles City Councilmen Mitch O’Farrell and Curren Price Jr. made a trip to provide food, medical services and legal assistance to immigrants seeking asylum at the United States border with Mexico.
The councilmen were joined by members of the Salvadoran American Leadership Educational Fund, Clinica Monseñor Romero, CARECEN-Los Angeles, El Rescate and St. John’s Health on a mission
The group departed Feb. 15 from St. John’s Hospital, deploying a mobile medical unit which provided much needed support to asylum seekers and refugees.
On Feb. 18, the group provided legal services outreach, hot meals and engaged directly with asylum seekers to learn about the conditions and that have created this humanitarian crisis and the impact of harsh immigration policies from the Trump administration.
“What is happening at the border is not a national security emergency despite what Donald Trump claims,” O’Farrell said. “However, the president has caused a humanitarian crisis.
“Trump’s border policy is a violation of the Refugee Act of 1980. Women, children and members of our LGBT community who have fled persecution from their own countries are being victimized again while they seek asylum hoping for a better life in our United States. I am in solidarity with the members of this delegation, demanding we follow our own laws while fighting for common human decency and compassion.”
“Today, immigrants are suffering unimaginable injustices and indignities,” Price said.“These times we’re living in are quite disturbing and in contrast to our ideals and values. We may be afflicted in every way, pressed in the political battle of our time, crushed from D.C. to L.A. and across borders, but we will not despair.
“People’s lives are on the line, and this is not the time to do nothing. Inaction is acceptable. Inaction is complicity. Inaction is inhumane.”
The conditions facing asylum seekers in Tijuana has only intensified in the past months due to harsher and stricter immigration policies.
“Central American organizations in Los Angeles have formed a coalition to extend aid, services and lay the foundation for a powerful transnational movement that responds to the growing refugee humanitarian crisis” said Martha Arevalo, executive director of CARECEN-LA. “As governments turn their backs on people fleeing violence, persecution we must ensure that our community responds with solidarity and compassion.”
“The conditions in which members of the caravan, who are mostly women and children, are living, is deplorable,” said Jim Mangia, president and CEO of St. John’s Well Child & Family Center. “No medicine, no access to basic medical care — these are flagrant violations of human rights which are the direct result of Trump’s violent and inhumane immigration policies.
“St John’s is honored to be able to help in providing basic medical care and medicine and we will continue to do so as long as people are held in these horrific conditions.”