Top stories: Detainees ‘living in fear’; US doctors head south of the border


SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Border Report’s California and El Paso region correspondents share the top stories from along the U.S.-Mexico Border. Here are the headlines for May 22 from the Border Report team.

Migrants ‘living in fear’ at detention center where 66 have tested positive for COVID-19

Fear has a tight grip on detainees at the Otero County Processing Center, who up until a month ago were using their personal shampoo to disinfect common areas due to a lack of cleaning supplies, migrant advocates say. Since then, the facility has provided hand sanitizers in some — but not all — dormitories and handed out masks, yet the number of COVID-19 infections continue to rise, they say. Sixty-six detainees have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Friday afternoon at the Otero facility, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website. That’s eight more than the previous day.

California doctors lend their time to treat COVID-19 patients in Tijuana

A group of doctors and other medical professionals will spend the next four weeks treating COVID-19 patients in Tijuana, Mexico. One of the doctors is Jess Mandel, chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care at UC San Diego Health. “We had sort of heard rumors for a while about challenges that were being faced by Tijuana. We felt these are our colleagues and we want to do everything we can to help them,” Mandel said. “We’ve seen this with other infectious diseases, where we look at a bi-national effort across the border. We certainly see it with COVID-19, the more we cooperate together the better people are on both sides of the border.”

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