In late July HIAS sent a team of legal and program experts to several areas along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border to gather information and try to determine how best to respond to the current family separation and asylum crisis.
Four HIAS staffers--Jonathon Orta (Paralegal), Marielle Septien (Global Program Officer), Roberto Mera (Country Director, Panama) and Hector Rojas Olivo (Attorney)-- traveled to El Paso and McAllen, Texas, where they met with social service agency providers. In Hidalgo, they went on a police ride-along. They also went into Mexico where they were able to observe firsthand some crossing sites and visit a migrant center in Juarez.
HIAS next plans to embed new Border Fellows into legal service agencies working near the border.