McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Monday is World Refugee Day, which honors migrants who are displaced throughout the planet, and this year’s theme is finding safety for all.
The United Nations reports 100 million people worldwide have been forced from their homelands due to economic strife, conflicts and other catastrophes. It is the most ever on record.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a video address released Monday, said there are 1.5 billion displaced people who cannot return to their homelands or remain safely in their countries of asylum.
It’s “a time of unprecedented crisis,” Blinken said.
“At no time have more (people icon) been on the move,” the World Health Organization tweeted Monday. “WHO stands #WithRefugees around the (globe icon) to protect their health & well-being.”
“World Refugee Day is an occasion to raise awareness on the unique health needs of refugees and people on the move, and the challenges they may face in accessing healthcare during their journeys and in the host country,” the WHO wrote on its website. “If policies that promote the health of refugees and all people on the move are in place, refugees and migrants can contribute to the full and flourishing life of a country and to supporting the economy, culture and a diverse society.”
Millions have been displaced from Ukraine after Russian troops infiltrated the country.
But hundreds of thousands also have fled Central American countries like El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, as well as Venezuela and Cuba, and they try to migrate north through South Texas to get to American cities.
An all-time monthly record was set in May for migrant encounters on the Southwest border.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says the 100 million who are displaced is equivalent to the populations of Vietnam or Egypt. And that Mexico and Central America are one of the main migratory arteries of the world.
Doctors Without Borders says it’s currently working to alleviate the suffering of migrants in Panama, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico and “are prioritizing assistance to the most vulnerable groups” by providing mental health, social work, water and sanitation services to populations on the move.
The group has projects in the Mexican border towns of Ciudad Acuña, Piedras Negras, Nuevo Laredo, Coatzacoalcos, Tapachula, Tenosique, Salto de Agua, Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Reynosa and Matamoros.
“Every day, people across the globe flee their homes with the simple hope of staying alive. Courage, determination, and often the love of their children, set them on a precarious survival mission into the unknown,” a letter sent Monday by the Rio Grande Valley Welcoming Committee said.
The Welcoming Committee is a coalition of humanitarian, advocacy, and legal organizations that support arriving migrants in South Texas and the northern Mexican border state of Tamaulipas.
Members said they’d like governments to adopt the following for those seeking safety in other nations:
- The right to seek asylum.
- Safe access and open borders.
- No return of migrants to the dangers they fled.
- No discrimination and equal protection for all regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or country of origin.
- Humane treatment.
“On World Refugee Day, 2022, we stand in solidarity, not only with those we serve on the Texas/Mexico border but with all migrants everywhere. Every human being deserves life, protection, dignity, and connection with those they love,” reads the letter that was tweeted by the Sidewalk School for Children Asylum Seekers.
“Refugees and immigrants make our country stronger. We must continue to be a nation that welcomes people fleeing danger and violence,” U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, tweeted.