Mexican Immigration Arrests Cubans with Humanitarian Parole and Holds Them Incommunicado

Yida, Dachel and Amehd were arrested last Thursday at the Mexico City airport.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 20 February 2023 — Cubans Dachel, Yida and Amehd, who have a humanitarian parole status for the United States, have been detained since February 16 at the Las Agujas immigration station, in Mexico City. According to Carmen Sardiñas, Dachel’s mother, “they took them off the plane and confiscated their passports.”

Sardiñas specified that Cubans and Venezuelans, about 10 in number, who intended to reach the United States, were taken off a plane, “put on a bus” and “taken prisoner.” All these details were reported by her daughter by cell phone. Because of this, they missed the flight and have been held “incommunicado” in Mexican Immigration.

Dachel had to pay an extortion fee to inform her mother about her detention, “which is a violation of her rights,” Carmen Sardiñas said on her social networks.

Despite the fact that the detainees insisted they had humanitarian parole granted to them by the US authorities, the agents of the National Institute of Migration (INM) told them that they “did not know” about that benefit and did not have knowledge of the “sponsorship or the flight permit or anything,” said Carlos Hernández, Yida’s father, in an interview for Telemundo. “You are illegally in Mexico,” they were told.

Hernández denied this. Relatives shared documents and the image of the humanitarian visa of one of the young women issued by the Mexican authorities, which is valid for one year. These Cubans boarded an Aeromexico flight in Tapachula to Mexico City, where they were arrested.

Immigration refused to give information to 14ymedio about the group of detainees. “Any request must be issued to the National Migration Institute,” said the person who answered the phone call.

The Las Agujas station has been highlighted by the testimonies of several Cubans as a center where agents threaten to deport them, extort them and violate their rights. In July of last year Angélica María Rodríguez Varela, Isael Meléndez Castro and Junier Blanco Hernández were allowed to leave after receiving a protection order.

Migrant defense attorney José Luis Pérez denounced the arbitrariness of the Mexican agents. Similar cases such as the three people detained in Las Agujas have occurred since the beginning of January. On January 21, Cuban Maidaly Martínez Rodríguez was arrested in Tapachula (Chiapas).

“They detained her despite the fact that she had a humanitarian visa that was given to her on January 16, which is valid for one year. She had to get a protection order to be able to board a flight from Tapachula to Mexico City and avoid being stopped.”

The lawyer reported the abuses by Migration officers in Chiapas. On January 28, “they tried to extort Mirsa Fernández Gómez at the Viva Mexico checkpoint, in Tapachula.” She left on a bus but the agents wanted to arrest her despite her “having a permit for 20 days and a protection order.” In the end, she was allowed to continue to the United States.

On Sunday, a bus in which 45 irregular migrants from Colombia, Venezuela and Central America were traveling to the U.S. border crashed on the road from Cuacnopalan to Oaxaca. It was reported that 15 people died and another 15 were transferred to the general hospital of Tehuacán (Puebla).

On Monday, the Mexican Secretary of State, Julio Huerta Gómez, announced that two of the migrants who were hospitalized have died. Regarding the accident, he indicated that the first investigations indicate that the driver lost control of the bus, and it crashed into a tree and overturned.

Last Friday, the U.S. Embassy in Cuba announced that 11,637 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans have benefited from the parole that allows them to receive travel authorization and stay for up to two years with a work permit.

The diplomatic headquarters reiterated that those who try to “illegally cross to the United States will be expelled and will lose the possibility of participating in this program.”

On Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard repatriated 31 rafters to the Island aboard the ship Joseph Poroo. The agency thwarted the journey of these people who were looking to reach Florida on two rustic boats.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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