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Does Purple Cross Present Maps and Assets for Migrants Touring North to the US-Mexico Border?


The Purple Cross gives migrants touring north to the Southwest US border a pamphlet that features a map and “self-care messages.”




The pamphlets are particularly supplied by the Worldwide Committee for the Purple Cross (ICRC), not the US-based American Purple Cross. A spokesperson for the ICRC informed Snopes by e mail that the group “doesn’t stop nor does it encourage migration.” Somewhat, it goals to “assist stop and mitigate the humanitarian penalties that migration can convey – together with separation and lack of household contacts, disappearances, severe medical points and even loss of life.”

Within the US, the American Purple Cross is probably greatest recognized for its blood-donation drives and for offering help following pure disasters similar to hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. Its humanitarian efforts are “a part of a worldwide community devoted to relieving human struggling,” based on the group’s web site.

In different phrases, the American Purple Cross is only one of many chapters below the umbrella of the worldwide Purple Cross and Purple Crescent community. That huge community consists of three central elements. A type of elements is the Worldwide Committee of the Purple Cross (ICRC), which has revealed that it has 20,000 workers members in over 100 international locations who are supposed to assist these “affected by armed battle and violence.”

Battle and violence are two causes households and individuals would possibly migrate, based on the web site for the American Purple Cross. Three different causes talked about for migration embody human rights violations, an absence of financial prospects and pure disasters.

This brings us to the rumor at hand, which claims the “Purple Cross” is offering maps and assets to migrants who plan to proceed transferring north via Central America and Mexico with the purpose of reaching the Southwest US border.

For instance, on Feb. 6, 2024, X consumer @PecanC8 posted a picture of 1 such map. The consumer wrote of the picture, “Keep in mind this subsequent time the Purple Cross asks for cash. That can be a tough no from me.” Many different customers posted the identical declare and sentiment on xInstagram and Fb.

It is true the ICRC – not the American Purple Cross – gives to some migrants both printed or digitally downloaded pamphlets. These supplies embody a map that on one facet reveals the Southwest US border, Mexico and Central America, in addition to “self-care messages” for survival, well being and communication wants on the reverse facet. On the similar time, this assertion of reality has eliminated a little bit of context behind it. Importantly, context relating to hot-button American political points like immigration is commonly lacking from each on-line discussions and cropped screenshots of fact-check scores posted on social media.

Statements from American Purple Cross and ICRC

Each the American Purple Cross and ICRC informed Snopes by e mail the Purple Cross “doesn’t stop nor does it encourage migration.” Somewhat, they stated they intention to “assist stop and mitigate the humanitarian penalties that migration can convey – together with separation and lack of household contacts, disappearances, severe medical points and even loss of life.”

A spokesperson for the ICRC continued, “The map and safe-care messages aren’t directions on the best way to migrate; our strategy to migration is strictly humanitarian. We offer details about methods to scale back danger and the place to seek out lifesaving help. It’s important to stop the lack of lives and to advertise a humanitarian strategy. Addressing the wants of this weak inhabitants is a shared accountability, of the authorities within the international locations of origin, transit and vacation spot, and of the worldwide group.”

One phrase was repeated a number of occasions in our correspondence with the ICRC: “lifesaving.”

A spokesperson for the American Purple Cross additionally added, “Misguided claims and incendiary misinformation can have very actual penalties on the flexibility to offer humanitarian help. We encourage the general public to confirm what they see, learn and listen to earlier than sharing.”

Pamphlet Aspect One: The Map

The ICRC web site gives downloadable hyperlinks for the pamphlet in a number of languages, together with an English-language PDF file. The fabric was first made obtainable in 2015.

The map’s legend consists of colours for climates and markers totally free providers, prepare routes and rivers. Past that, the map could be very restricted in that it doesn’t embody roadways or some other markings.

“The maps and self-care messages aren’t directions on which routes or transport migrants ought to use,” the ICRC spokesperson informed Snopes.

The free providers marked on the map embody eight sorts of places for fundamental wants, together with shelters, meals, medical help, free cellphone calls, web providers, assist relating to orientation and data, transportation and orthopedic care.

Out of the 87 complete places marked on the map, solely 5 had been marked as containing transportation providers. These 5 places are all positioned in Honduras and Panama, properly over 1,000 miles from the US

“We work to scale back the components that contribute to the vulnerability of the migrant inhabitants,” the ICRC spokesperson stated. “Entry to info reduces the dangers and mitigates the humanitarian penalties that migrants face, notably essentially the most weak. Figuring out the situation of a shelter or medical providers, for instance, could make a major distinction to a migrant and in some circumstances can save their lives “

Pamphlet Aspect Two: ‘Self-care Messages’

The other facet of the pamphlet displaying “self-care messages” principally gives humanitarian info. For instance, among the pamphlet advises how migrants can keep away from medical emergencies and loss of life, whereas different elements advise them about their rights and to remain in contact with their household throughout their journey.

The pamphlet advises that, if migrants dangerously try and trip on the skin of a freight prepare for instance, they need to take particular care to stop accidents and loss of life.

“Whereas onboard a freight prepare or some other freight car, it is suggested that you simply stay seated,” the pamphlet reads, in one in every of a number of tips on surviving freight prepare rides. “Watch out and look out for any branches, electrical cables or tunnels that would hit you or trigger you to fall. Sit the place you possibly can maintain on to one thing.”

Moreover, the pamphlet gives info for migrants who’ve turn into a sufferer of “sexual violence” and advises them to drink water, keep away from drowning in rivers, keep away from touring in excessive temperatures, memorize essential phone numbers and take particular care of their identification paperwork, amongst different useful ideas.

The place Can Migrants Get hold of Printed Pamphlets?

The ICRC spokesperson informed Snopes it gives paper variations of the pamphlets “in shelters, meals distribution websites and healthcare clinics run by the Nationwide Purple Cross Societies, in addition to to different organizations that conduct actions associated to people who find themselves migrating.” Additionally they stated they “collaborate with completely different authorities within the Mexico and Central America to ship self-care messages and data on important providers obtainable to migrants.”

How Many Pamphlets Have Been Distributed?

In 2020, the ICRC reported for the yr 2019 it had printed and distributed 10,000 of the paper pamphlets containing the map and “self-care messages.” It additionally despatched 10,600 digital “self-care messages” through WhatsApp.

Throughout the identical yr, the web site for US Customs and Border Safety revealed knowledge saying its officers had encountered round 800,000 migrants through the 2019 calendar yr.

Snopes was unable to find related knowledge relating to pamphlet distribution for a newer yr. Additional, and importantly, we had been unable to acquire annual obtain numbers for the digital variations of the pamphlets.

Was American Purple Cross Concerned with the Pamphlet?

Snopes requested the American Purple Cross if its particular US-based chapter of the Purple Cross was ever concerned with the pamphlets supplied for migrants. In response, a spokesperson for the group informed us its emblem was as soon as seen on the pamphlet for a restricted time period through the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The American Purple Cross emblem got here off the pamphlet on the conclusion of our term-limited COVID-19 program,” the spokesperson informed us by e mail. “The American Purple Cross (had) partnered with the Mexican Purple Cross to help COVID-related well being and hygiene for migrants.”

What Does American Purple Cross Do for Migrants?

The American Purple Cross gives “fundamental help” on an “as wanted” foundation on the US-Mexico border and in US cities. On its web site, it says, “As a humanitarian group, we don’t flip away anybody in want.”

Relying on the circumstances, the American Purple Cross would possibly present reduction provides and coaching. Provides and providers can embody meals, water, consolation, well being providers, psychological well being help, cots, blankets, hygiene gadgets, first help kits and towels.

In different phrases, the group seeks to fulfill the fundamental and rapid wants of people that doubtlessly simply accomplished a journey of properly over 1,000 miles. Telephones have additionally been supplied “in some circumstances,” so migrants can “reconnect with members of the family again house to allow them to know they’re protected, all based on the American Purple Cross web site web page titled, “How Does the American Purple Cross Assist Migrants , Refugees and Asylum Seekers?”

How is American Purple Cross Funded?

As beforehand famous, some on-line customers who had been negatively important of the Purple Cross effort to reduce accidents and deaths of migrants stated they might not donate to the group, apparently referring to the American Purple Cross.

In line with the web site for the American Purple Cross, it primarily receives monetary help “from voluntary public contributions and cost-recovery fees.” The additionally specifies whereas it “doesn’t obtain federal funding group frequently,” it does generally, “below restricted circumstances,” obtain some state and federal funds.

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