Posted in: 31/03/2021 – 19:14
An increasing number of migrants are arriving in northern Mexico, expelled from the United States. Attracted by the immigration policy announced by US President Joe Biden, who promised to be more favorable to foreigners living in the country, they are the target of a health defense law defended since the beginning of the pandemic by Donald Trump and which continues to be applied by the new head of the White House. The text has served as an argument for continuing the expulsions, often deceiving migrants before sending them back to Mexican territory.
With information from Alix Hardy, Special sent from RFI to Ciudad Juarez
They managed to enter the United States on Monday (29), after a long trip. But that Tuesday (30th), they were back in Mexico. “They made us get on a plane without saying where we were going. We should go to a North American detention center to continue the administrative process in the States. And now, surprise: we are in Juarez. The blow is hard, ”says Jayson, a 26-year-old Honduran with a 2-year-old son.
“They lied to them to expel them more easily,” explains Victor, a psychologist from an NGO in Juarez, who observes the constant movement of migrants being sent back a few days or sometimes just hours after crossing the border. “When they arrive here, the Mexican authorities say that they will be placed in refuges, but the reception centers are overcrowded in Juarez. There is no more place ”, he warns.
Like Jayson and his son, several other families were recently expelled from the United States, victims of “Title 42”, an American law that authorizes the closing of borders to prevent diseases from entering the country. Dating back to 1944, the text began to be defended and used again by former President Donald Trump as a pretext to expel migrants, claiming to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. And Biden, who during his election campaign showed signs that he would adopt a less rigid migration policy, continues to use that same law to send migrants back across the border.
“The United States used the pandemic to justify a totally arbitrary policy,” says Blanca Navarrete, an activist who defends immigrants’ rights. “Since the election of Joe Biden, we have often heard that migrants can, in theory, have access to an asylum policy again, unlike the Trump era. But in reality, because of that law, that right remains inaccessible. It is a way to sow uncertainty to further deter migrants, ”he says.
Migrants surrender to the police thinking they will be taken in
The Biden government has already called for migrants to stop trying to enter the United States, warned that the Mexican border was closed and warned of the danger of crossing. Even so, southern neighbors continue to cross the border illegally. Many cross the Rio Grande with children in their arms and, in the hope that the policy of the new White House chief will welcome them, spontaneously surrender to border patrols on the American side. Without knowing that they will be sent back because of the sanitary measure.
In February alone, more than 100,000 undocumented persons were arrested at the southern border of the United States, including about 9,500 unaccompanied minors. Most of them are fleeing poverty and gang violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
The Mexican government counted the presence of more than 31 thousand illegal immigrants in its territory between January and March 2021, a number 18% higher than that registered in the same period of the previous year.
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