Mexico’s tactic to cut immigration to the US: wear out migrants


Migrants Stranded in Southern Mexico: A Harrowing Journey Through Uncertainty

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In Villahermosa, Mexico, Yeneska García, a 23-year-old Venezuelan migrant, finds herself in a familiar yet distressing situation. Since fleeing Venezuela in January, García has endured a treacherous journey through the Darien Gap jungle, a kidnapping by a Mexican cartel, and a long wait for a U.S. asylum appointment that never materialized. After being expelled by American authorities in May, she is now back in southern Mexico, bused to Villahermosa by Mexican immigration officials and left on the streets.

“I would rather cross the Darien Gap 10,000 times than cross Mexico,” García lamented from a migrant shelter, clutching her few remaining possessions: her Venezuelan ID, an inhaler, and an apple.

García’s story is emblematic of the plight faced by many migrants. Driven by U.S. pressure to curb migration and lacking resources for mass deportations, Mexican authorities have adopted a harsh strategy: repeatedly busing migrants to southern cities like Villahermosa and Tapachula until they give up. This approach has trapped many migrants, including pregnant women and children, in a cycle of despair.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador defends the policy, claiming it protects migrants from the dangers of crossing to the north. However, the reality for migrants is stark. The policy has exacerbated their hardships, and analysts warn it will worsen under new U.S. asylum restrictions.

Data shows a significant drop in arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border, credited to Mexican vigilance. But for migrants like García, the journey has become increasingly perilous. Checkpoints dot southern highways, where soldiers and immigration agents often extort migrants. Many, like the Bolaños family, have been sent back to southern Mexico multiple times, enduring abuse and harsh conditions.

The Peace Oasis of the Holy Spirit Amparito, Villahermosa’s only migrant shelter, is overwhelmed. Josue Martínez, a psychologist at the shelter, notes that “Mexico is the wall,” with migrants trapped in the south. The shelter, which housed 528 people last month, fears it cannot accommodate the rising numbers.

Some migrants, like 25-year-old Keilly Bolaños and her children, continue to endure brutal conditions in hopes of reaching the U.S. Bolaños, seeking asylum for her daughter’s leukemia treatment, has been sent back to southern Mexico six times. Despite being beaten by military personnel and living in dire conditions, she remains determined.

Others, like Honduran Alexander Amador, resort to walking for hours, hiding from authorities and avoiding cartels. Amador and his companions have been forced back twice but continue their perilous journey.

As Mexico grapples with U.S. pressure and its own immigration challenges, migrants remain caught in a cycle of suffering and uncertainty, with no clear end in sight.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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