14ymedio / Jorge Fuentelsaz, Mexico, 10 May 2023 — This Tuesday, 48 hours before the end of Title 42 which has allowed the United States to immediately expel migrants for health reasons, a hundred people broke through the control of Mexican border agents in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and began to cross the Rio Grande in broad daylight. The ImpactVision cameras captured the moment when the campers on the bank decided to cross the river, calm at that moment, before the impassive gaze of members of the National Institute of Migration (INM).
“I ask the United States authorities to help us,” a woman told the reporter. “Let them open a channel that is more accessible, more humane, because we’ve gone through everything. People insult us, mistreat us, rob us, there are women raped,” lamented the migrant. Most refused to speak to the camera, and their attention was completely focused on making sure that those who were already crossing reached the other side, while preparing to be next.
In recent days, says the reporter, thousands of people have tried to reach the United States. The changes that are coming keep the migrants confused, and rumors are circulating more than ever.
On Tuesday, agents of the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) distributed brochures without official seals inviting migrants to surrender to the authorities.” It is better for you to turn yourself in at the nearest station of the border patrol,” the note said. “In this place you will be processed by CBP officers and put on the correct immigration path.” Rumors of a raid encouraged migrants to take this route.
“Allegedly here they are providing us with the documentation,” said Giomar, a 39-year-old former Venezuelan policeman interviewed by EFE. On Tuesday in El Paso, hundreds of people were being delivered, in an orderly manner, under the premise that they will be given the permits they need.
“We want to have the American papers to be able to transit here in the United States, we want to be legalized,” said Franco Zambrano, 20 years old and Venezuelan as well, like most of those who waited in the North Pass yesterday. “They told us to give ourselves up, to come here, that they are helping us with the papers to be able to reach our destination,” added one of his travel companions, Yonaiqui González.
The activists who watch over migrants denounced the “intimidating” attitude of the agents, who yesterday arrived near a church where dozens of people were camping to ask for their papers.
“They are violating what is called the policy of sensitive places, where they should not be doing such activities because they are going to dissuade people from seeking refuge,” the director of the NGO Border Network for Human Rights, Fernando García, told EFE. As he explained, “there is a very clear policy that neither churches nor clinics nor schools are subject to this type of action, and what we are seeing is a massive presence of them. They are preparing for what is coming, and what is coming is going to be a tougher raid policy.”
García is critical of President Joe Biden, who “promised a humane policy towards the border, an immigration reform policy to strengthen the asylum system. And what we are seeing is a harsh policy very similar to that of former President Trump, sending troops instead of humanitarian assistance to the border,” he says.
In recent months, the United States has launched new programs in search of a more “orderly” migration, including the humanitarian parole for Cubans, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans and Haitians, through which up to 30,000 monthly visas are delivered to those who get a sponsor to endorse their stay in the country.
Between its entry into force, on January 9 of this year, and March, 15,000 Cubans, 18,000 Haitians, 7,500 Nicaraguans and 32,000 Venezuelans have arrived in the United States.
However, those who try to enter without the document will be deported to Mexico and will not be able to request this type of access. Despite this warning, hundreds of people of these nationalities try to circumvent border controls.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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