In March 2020, the Trump administration enacted a provision of the U.S. Health Law known as Title 42 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy has resulted in that closure of the border to "nonessential" travel and includes asylum in this category.
Due to this policy, throughout the duration of the pandemic asylum seekers who have approached the border have expelled back into Mexican cities without credible fear interviews. The policy violates domestic and international laws by barring entry to asylum seekers and deporting those who attempt to cross back into dangerous conditions in Mexico. As of June 2021, nearly one million asylum seekers have been expelled back into Mexico. Numbers are highest in the Rio Grande Valley, where Reynosa and Matamoros are both located.
The border city of Reynosa now hosts asylum seekers from around the world. Along with Central Americans, there are asylum seekers from Haiti, Ivory Coast, Burundi, Guinea, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and more. These asylum seekers are trapped at the border, waiting for Title 42 to be repealed so that they may reunite with their families and move on with their lives. Our aim is to work with these communities to improve their living conditions and meet their basic needs for shelter and safety.
Source: US Customs and Border Patrol
In collaboration with LifeStraw, Team Brownsville, and Doctors Without Borders
A public plaza in Reynosa, MX is home to thousands of asylum seekers. Our team works with the people residing there to address their most critical water, sanitation, and hygiene needs.
In collaboration with Global Response Management
The AquaBlock is a mobile water treatment system that was implemented in the Matamoros Refugee Camp and will be reused in Reynosa shelters to provide clean drinking water to hundreds of asylum seekers.
In partnership with The Sidewalk School
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) classes are an excellent way to engage and excite the next generation of engineers. Through hands-on projects, kids play to learn about basic engineering concepts with us at their local schools.
In partnership with Team Brownsville, Dr. Bronner’s, Humble Smile Foundation, Valley AIDS Council
Hygiene is the primary way to prevent infections. In partnership with groups all over the country, Solidarity Engineering has made a hygiene kit program in which women, men, and children living in shelters are given individual kits to provide access to basic hygiene needs.
In collaboration with Colab Manifesto
The plaza in Reynosa is quickly turning into a migrant camp, similar to how the Matamoros camp started. In order to create more dignified and safe housing, Solidarity Engineering is teaming up with a team of architects to create a NewTent. This design uses local materials and creates a community housing block, rather than single tents. This will be implemented in Reynosa at an existing local shelter to expand their housing capacity.