Despite the drop in apprehensions in recent months, the illegal-immigration crisis at the southern border continues, with more than 811,000 border apprehensions recorded in the first 11 months of Fiscal Year 2019. Even without the data from this last month of the fiscal year, these numbers are the highest seen since 2007.
Our lax asylum and detention policies have been the main reason for this surge, but one of the facilitators of the flow has been the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Earlier this year the ICRC announced an initiative to use the instant-messaging and social media application WhatsApp to help Central American migrants make their way through Mexico to the U.S. border by sending "self-protection" messages.
Migrants are informed of which routes to take, places to obtain food and water, and how to contact their families. The ICRC shares a phone number with hostels and NGOs to create a line of contact for migrants seeking help along migration routes. The ICRC annual report for 2018, discussed at a press event last week in Nicaragua, reported that roughly 60,800 phone calls were made by migrants to the organization. As a result of their messaging efforts, the ICRC said it assisted approximately 34,600 migrants from Honduras, provided medical care for 9,000 from Guatemala, and provide food and transportation assistance to 250 from El Salvador.
The ICRC maybe well-intentioned but it is facilitating illegal immigration into the United States. It is exacerbating the flow of migrants to the border and endangering the lives of those involved. Moreover, promoting illegal immigration is absent from its mission statement:
The ICRC's Mission Statement
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance.
The ICRC also endeavors to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.
Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the Geneva Conventions and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It directs and coordinates the international activities conducted by the Movement in armed conflicts and other situations of violence.