/For U.S.-bound Central American migrants, better to stay in Mexico than be sent home

For U.S.-bound Central American migrants, better to stay in Mexico than be sent home

TAPACHULA, Mexico (Reuters) – Many of the Central Americans who lined up for papers at an asylum workplace in southern Mexico stated they may abandon plans to attain the United States and stay in Mexico if U.S. President Donald Trump clamps down additional on migration.

Central American migrants wait exterior the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR) in Tapachula, Mexico, June 14, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

Mexico is ramping up safety on its southern border with Guatemala as a part of an settlement with Washington after Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican items if the federal government didn’t stem the movement of migrants reaching the United States.

As a part of that effort, Mexico has pledged to deploy 6,000 National Guard members alongside the border. Reuters reporters in Tapachula, a metropolis close to the frontier visited by many migrants, noticed no proof of that deployment there on Saturday.

Under U.S. stress, Mexico has agreed to increase a program began in January that forces migrants to wait in Mexico for the result of their U.S. asylum claims. The United States started accelerating returns of asylum seekers to Mexico on Thursday.

In addition, if Mexico doesn’t scale back immigration flows by mid-July, it may grow to be a “safe third country” the place asylum seekers should search refuge as an alternative of in the United States.

In the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, the overburdened COMAR refugee workplace in Tapachula has seen a surge of asylum seekers. It is one in all solely three such places of work in the nation.

People ready in line exterior the workplace stated they might take their possibilities in Mexico if their solely different alternative was to return to violence-plagued Central America.

Thousands of households have fled poverty and rampant crime in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala in the previous 12 months, making their approach by way of Mexico to the United States.

“If we have no other option then yes, we could remain in Mexico because we really cannot go back to Honduras,” stated Dagoberto, 34, ready in line in the blazing noon solar on Friday together with his companion, Jose.

Dagoberto stated he had been threatened in Honduras when the enterprise he labored for was taken over by a felony gang. He was asking COMAR for a humanitarian visa to permit him to attain the U.S. border.

Dagoberto and Jose, who hope to get married in the event that they attain the United States, declined to give their surnames, saying the gang that pressured them out of Honduras had worldwide attain.

In an indication of intensifying efforts to stem the movement of individuals, a number of hundred migrants in vans had been detained by safety forces at two factors in the japanese state of Veracruz on Saturday, a Foreign Ministry official stated.


Nidia Martinez and her three youngsters slept the earlier three nights on the sidewalk in entrance of the COMAR workplace, the place she is looking for a credential to let her to journey to the U.S. border.

“I want to get to the United States. If I can’t, then Mexico is a good place to live,” she stated, citing a way of elevated safety she felt since arriving in Tapachula.

“In Honduras, you can’t sleep on the street because they’d rob you. They’d rape you or kill you,” Martinez, 28, stated, beaming with aid that she and her youngsters had not been assaulted in Tapachula.

But security in their case relied on sleeping simply exterior the refugee workplace. Migrants in different elements of town and all through Mexico usually face extortion, kidnapping and worse by criminals or corrupt authorities officers.

Martinez stated she could search for her mom – who lives in Puebla, Mexico – and organize to stay together with her and discover work. But she says she can not go anyplace with out the COMAR doc.

“We have to sleep and wake up here because without that credential they will grab us and deport us if we try to travel.”

Her 20-month-year-old daughter, Litzy, seemed up at her, smiling in a fleece hoodie embellished with blue hearts, her hair tied with a purple band. Later in the day, they had been pressured by a tropical downpour to cram themselves into doorways to stay dry.

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Also sleeping exterior for an opportunity at an interview in the refugee workplace was Hernando Gustavo Velazquez, 45, who arrived from Honduras every week earlier together with his sister and nephew.

Velazquez stated if he had been unable to obtain his dream of reaching the United States, then Mexico would be loads better than returning to Honduras.

“Here we have not seen any extortion,” he stated. “In Honduras, when they threaten to kill you for not paying for protection, they’re not lying.”

Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Additional reporting by Roberto Ramirez in Tapachula and Delphine Schrank and Frank Jack Daniel in Mexico City; Editing by Daniel Flynn, Steve Orlofsky and Daniel Wallis

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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