The first Venezuelan migrants deported by the United States to the Mexican border city of Tijuana arrived on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, different sources reported.
The incident occurred after the US government issued a joint measure with Mexico last Wednesday to immediately return those migrants from the South American country who enter the border irregularly.
Although according to the Department of Homeland Security, this measure is “to reduce the number of people who arrive at our southwest border and create a more orderly and safe process for those fleeing the humanitarian and economic crisis in Venezuela.” Activists point out that it is a policy that puts migrants adrift.
Migrants see injustice
So far it is known that there were around 250 migrants deported through the El Chaparral border port.
One of them, the young José Luis Acosta, shared with the media that after being imprisoned for six days in an immigration detention center in Calexico (USA), he was transferred to San Diego and from there deported this morning to Tijuana without they gave him no information.
Another case is that of Cristhian Rangel, originally from the city of Maracaibo, who said that he crossed the Mexicali checkpoint on October 10, surrendered to the US immigration authorities and was imprisoned there until this Friday morning without knowing about this new immigration law.
“I found out because another of the people read the news on his cell phone and it seemed unfair to us, because I was already there before the law began and they did not have to deport me,” he said.
The migrants now have the uncertainty of what they are going to do with their lives in this city they do not know, although they are clear that they do not intend to go to the shelters because “they are like prisoners there” and some said that they will seek to establish themselves, while others will seek the way to keep trying to cross into the United States.
Venezuelan community seeks how to help them
After the deportations, the Venezuelan community in Tijuana took on the task of finding a way to organize in order to support them, especially those who left all their assets to cross into the United States.
Frank Mijares, a Venezuelan activist and restaurateur in the city, pointed out that he took on the task of requesting the collaboration of other Venezuelans to support them through a clothing and food collection, in order to send them to the centers where his countrymen are.
He argued that they are not able to organize themselves, as happened at the time with the Ukrainian migrant community, especially because they do not have an institutional figure of support in this region.
However, he said that they will see how this situation unfolds, which has its degree of complexity because many are leaving under deceit.
“Many people are being deceived from Venezuela, they are being made to go through very difficult situations, both through the jungle, the crossing through all of Central America, arriving in Chiapas and then crossing to the border, for an issue that a large percentage thinks that coming to the United States they are going to help them and they are going to give them all the comforts and it is not like that”, he pointed out.
The activist stressed that most of these people arrive in Tijuana and move to San Luis Río Colorado and cross over, surrendering to the US authorities, while they are accompanied throughout the process by smugglers who charge them up to 6,000 dollars.
Fear of kidnapping
For activists like Alberto Chávez, a member of the organization Espacio Migrante, the fear is that, given the saturation of shelters in the city, migrants will be exposed to being on the streets and will be easy targets for people who deal with people, the so-called “smugglers, and for organized crime people who take advantage of carry out kidnappings.”
“The message they are giving is obvious, it is to tire people out, inhibit them from emigrating, this year the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) were removed, but in the end the same thing continues to happen, they tire them out so that they return to their places of origin,” Chavez added.
For Enrique Lucero, director of Attention to Migrants in Tijuana, the National Institute of Migration (INM) has “to leave them in a shelter, they cannot leave them adrift, it would be something inhumane.”
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