Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, Oct 4 (EFE). – An operation by Mexican authorities on the northern border on Wednesday stranded 2,000 migrants in the Rio Grande border area shared with the United States, in an episode that reflects the recent growth of the migrant wave.
Alerted by Mexico’s Migration Institute (INM) and Juárez police, they crossed early Wednesday morning, where they were trapped between sewage and a barbed-wire fence installed by the Texas National Guard.
The migrants, who had been on the train or on foot for at least a week, cried out for water and food, fearing they would be detained by the INM once they crossed to the Mexican side.
César Omar Muñoz, Secretary of Public Security of Ciudad Juárez, said that they would not be allowed to spend the night in Mexican territory and that when they approached to give them information about shelters and alternatives, the migrants became frightened and crossed to the American side.
“The option is not to sleep there, there are more options that we can give them on this side to help them, they fear that our presence is because we are going to take them away and no, we are only going to give them information,” he told the media.
Manuel Alfonso Marín, head of the INM in Chihuahua, promised that everyone would be able to process their permanent residency in Mexico.
“We want an orderly migration, we know that it is not a place to be, to sleep, many children come. So we have to take care of the integrity of the people, there are places to stay, there are orderly ways to request refuge and asylum in the United States and that is what we are looking for,” he said.
The situation reflects the “unprecedented surge of migrants in Central America and Mexico,” as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) warned last week.
In the latest wave of migration, up to 16,000 migrants arrive daily at Mexico’s borders, 10,000 of them at the border with the United States, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador acknowledged on Monday.
“Here [in Mexico] they treat us worse, now that the press is here they calm down, otherwise they would have us cornered, because they left us in the desert,” denounced Jason Aroca, a 35-year-old Colombian migrant who arrived at Gate 36 of the border wall in Ciudad Juárez.
Joseline Perozo left Venezuela a month and three days ago, but her time in Mexico was complicated because in the city of Torreón she put her foot in the gap between two train cars, breaking her big toe.
“I’m a little scared because I can’t walk and I’m afraid they’ll catch me after all the struggle. What I want is for them to help me cross quickly because I am coming with a baby,” said the woman.
She also pointed out that “Mexico is the most difficult part of the route because of the attacks by government and criminals. EFE