Mexico and US Begin Return Migrants Home From TexasBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 09/23/2021 - 17:28
Mexico and the US are preparing several flights to return thousands of Haitian migrants who have arrived in the US seeking asylum. The decision has raised several concerns from NGOs and international organizations, since most migrants may be in danger. Furthermore, the situation has increased pressure on both governments to address the migration crisis.
Mexico and US authorities have deported more than 500 people from migrants camps located on the US-Mexico border: These migrants are mainly from Haiti who arrived in search of better opportunities since the recent earthquake, poverty and the murder of president Jovenel Moise are factors that have increased instability in their country.
Prior to deportations, there were at least 14,000 people camping under the international bridge in Del Rio, which crosses the Rio Grande River into Mexico. In addition, some Haitians decided to stay in Mexico in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila.
Nevertheless, some Haitians have been allowed to stay in the US and submit their request for asylum; however, authorities have also moved thousands away from their migration process. US Department of Homeland Security said it will continue to deport migrants and it expects to have 3,000 of the approximately 12,600 remaining migrants to be deported before the end of the week. US authorities have been deporting migrants back to their country, while their Mexican counterparts have sent migrants to the south of Mexico and Guatemala.
Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard explained that the number of Haitian migrants arriving in Mexico has increased due to rumors that state the possibility of obtaining residence permits in the US; however, that is not true. Ebrard explained that the US government announced that it will extend the deadline to apply for residency permits only to Haitians who have been living in the country for a long time. “Caravans of Haitians have arrived in Mexico from Brazil and Chile. They do not ask to be refugees in Mexico but want to be allowed a free passage to the US. As a country, we have a responsibility and we must work regionally to address this situation because migrants are being deceived."
Mexico has increased its pressure on the US government to better address migration issues, especially after NGOs and international organizations such as the UN shared their concerns about the treatment towards migrants and the mass deportations that have placed them in danger. "The mass expulsions that are currently being carried out, (...) without trying to determine the needs in terms of protection, are contrary to international law,” Filippo Grandi, Head of the UNHCR said in a statement.
Mexican authorities have highlighted the importance of having a regional response to the migration issue and continue to promote social programs such as "Sowing life", proposed by President López Obrador to address the main causes of migration.