AsylumConnect has launched a custom version of its free lifesaving technology in Mexico. The nonprofit organization provides the world’s first tech resource platform designed to facilitate the safe navigation of those fleeing persecution due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. AsylumConnect had previously been available in the United States and Canada.
AsylumConnect’s expansion into Mexico comes in response to the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy. Since its implementation in December 2018, the “Remain in Mexico” policy has forced over 67,000 asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while the U.S. immigration courts decide on their asylum cases. This policy is especially dangerous for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, who face an increased risk of violence and are subject to death threats, physical abuse and verbal harassment.
“People fleeing persecution due to LGBTQ+ status cannot wait safely in Mexico without trusted information on their local options. Our free, on-demand technology can now connect LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, undocumented immigrants and other queer people in need with verified affirming services in Mexico such as free lawyers, community centers, support groups, doctors, and housing to ensure their survival,” said Katie Sgarro, AsylumConnect co-founder and executive director.
LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and other marginalized LGBTQ+ people use AsylumConnect’s free resource website and mobile app to find verified safe LGBTQ+ affirming and immigrant friendly legal, medical, mental health and social services in seconds, 24/7. Lawyers also use the free technology to efficiently gather verified client referrals.
AsylumConnect’s latest expansion introduces an improved user experience and features designed for those seeking resources in Mexico:
- Border towns: at launch, the app can connect users to verified affirming services in over 20 towns, with a focus on the U.S.-Mexico border and Mexico City
- Translation: at launch, native translations in English (with over 100 additional languages available via Google Translate) and native Spanish translations coming later this year
- Crime map: new map on Mexico homepage documents general crime across the country
- Improved user experience: fresh designs throughout the app
- Anonymity: designed to protect users’ privacy online
- Search filters: filter out services that require specific documentation
Since launching in 2016, AsylumConnect’s free technology has connected over 28,000 users to verified LGBTQ+ and immigrant friendly services in the United States. The organization now hopes to facilitate the safe navigation of LGBTQ+ people resettling in Mexico, traveling through Mexico or waiting at the Mexican border to seek asylum in the U.S.
Source: Press release