Venezuelan migrants live in uncertainty on Mexico’s northern border

By Abraham Pineda Jácome

Matamoros, Mexico, Nov 12 (EFE).- A month after the United States rolled out its new policy to control migration from Venezuela, South Americans are struggling to survive in regions along the northern border of Mexico.

In Tamaulipas state’ Matamoros city, shelters are overwhelmed and insecurity grips Venezuelans as they go to work while waiting for a favorable response to their requests for asylum.

Groups of migrants, who were expelled by the US even before its policy took effect, roam this border city seeking legal advice and support from different associations.

“It was unfair because they expelled many women. We are the weakest in the sense that we cannot be alone in Mexico because it is very dangerous and the lack of safety here is terrible,” Venezuelan migrant Diana Carolina Rodríguez Medori told EFE.

The 19-year-old from Zaraza in Venezuela was part of one of the first groups that the US authorities deported to Mexico to wait while their cases were resolved.

On Oct. 12, the US announced 24,000 humanitarian visas for Venezuelans arriving by air and having a sponsor but simultaneously ordered the immediate expulsion of those arriving by land across the border with Mexico.

The young woman crossed the Darien jungle, passed through Central America and then Mexico to reach the US, from where she was finally returned through the city of Piedras Negras in Coahuila state.

She is now in Matamoros along with two friends she met on the way, Génesis Machado and Yésica Alejandra Leal Linares, with whom she has started working at a road crossing, cleaning car windshields to earn money to pay the rent and buy food.

“We came up with the idea of standing here, buying the stuff to clean the glass. There are many options, but this is the easiest and quickest one because one has a daily income. We were already interviewed at the Casa del Migrante (Migrant’s House) and now we are waiting for permission to enter the United States,” Génesis said.

The woman, who has a three-year-old son, spends the afternoons and evenings working. The three women have also gained popularity, thanks to media coverage on social media.

Among the groups of displaced Haitian, Central American, South American and Mexican migrants, are also Venezuelans who are sleeping in the streets because the shelters are overwhelmed and have no space for them.

The associations have made efforts to engage lawyers to guide them and try to find them food.

“We are telling people that there are no more shelters, that they look for decent lodging. We are looking for a way for some lawyers from the US and Mexico to respond to the concerns they have,” the director of the San Juan Diego Migrant’s House, José Luis Elías Rodríguez, said. EFE


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