Some migrants seeking to make the journey from Mexico or Central America to the United States have received maps, guides, and other resources from the American Red Cross, according to documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Red Cross is responsible for allocating funds to nongovernmental organizations that support illegal migrants in the United States who are awaiting an immigration court date. The nonprofit appears to have extended that support to migrants south of the border by providing resource packets with information about making the journey to the United States.
The nonprofit's packet, which includes the International Committee of the Red Cross and American Red Cross logos, features a map with the locations of hotels, clinics, and shelters in Mexico and Central America where migrants can seek support along their journey. It also shows train routes and roads leading to U.S. border cities in California, Arizona, and Texas.
Migrants are provided with a guide to "self care" and tips on how to survive the desert, safely jump on a cargo train, and receive contraceptives.
"If you use contraceptive methods, don't forget to bring them with you. In necessary cases, some Red Cross clinics and medical brigades will give them to you for free," the document states.
The Red Cross' packet warns of "extreme" desert temperatures and advises bringing "lots of potable water, pants and long sleeves to protect you from the sun."
"Also take with you warm clothes, gloves to protect your hands and a flashlight and matches," the document states.
It tells migrants that "traveling seated" on cargo trains is the "most recommended."
"Be careful on your trip, there are branches, electric cables, tunnels that can hit you. Accommodate yourself where you have supporting points," the guide adds.
When reached for comment by the DCNF, a Red Cross spokesperson did not deny creating or distributing the documents.
"Every day around the world, people make the difficult decision to leave their homes and their countries in pursuit of a safer place to live and hope for a better future," the spokesperson said. "Families migrate for different reasons, such as conflict, violence, natural disasters, or other reasons."
"The International Committee of the Red Cross, as a part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, does not prevent nor does it encourage migration," the spokesperson continued. "We aim to help prevent and mitigate the humanitarian consequences that migration can bring – including separation and loss of family contacts, disappearances, serious medical issues and even death."
The spokesperson added that the Red Cross' "approach to migrants is strictly humanitarian."
"We provide information about ways to reduce risk and where to find lifesaving assistance in Mexico and Central America," the spokesperson stated. "It is essential to prevent the loss of lives and to promote a humanitarian approach. Addressing the needs of this vulnerable population is a shared responsibility, of the authorities in the countries of origin, transit and destination, and of the international community."
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