Texas

Shelter operators fear they won’t have room for exiled Haitians, Cubans and Nicaraguans.

The Good Samaritan and other places in Juarez are already filled with waiting families driven out by Venezuelans.

Juarez, Mexico (border report) – Shelter operators in Juarez are concerned about a possible surge in expulsions of Haitians, Nicaraguans and Cubans who are trying to circumvent the US government’s new remote asylum program.

On January 6, the Department of Homeland Security began requiring citizens of these countries to find a US sponsor, complete an online application, and stay away from the US border until called. The program is similar to the one that has been applied to Venezuelan citizens since October 12.

Shelters like the Good Samaritan in the foothills of Juarez are overcrowded due to a steady stream of Venezuelans expelled from the US since mid-October.

“Now we are full. We don’t have a place,” said the director of the orphanage, Reverend Juan Fierro. “We will open a new space for families next month, but even then we will not be able to accommodate so many people.”

The Border Report on Tuesday polled government shelters and public places such as the Paso del Norte International Bridge where migrants congregate, but could not find recently expelled Haitians, Cubans or Nicaraguans.

But a Border Report/KTSM film crew captured the expulsion of a large group of Venezuelans across one of the international bridges between Juarez and El Paso.

Migrants, mostly Venezuelans, are expelled from the US and sent to Juarez, Mexico on January 10, 2023. (Photo from border report)
Julio Marquez (photo BR)

“My position is that the president (Biden) does not do this, but instead helps us,” said Julio Marquez, a Venezuelan migrant who was detained after he climbed over the border wall in El Paso. “We are many people, many men who go for a better future. We have children in Venezuela […] We need the support of the President and the President of Mexico so that we can provide for our children. They won’t be able to buy clothes this year.”

Other deported Venezuelans said they fear being caught trying to cross the border again and being deported not to Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, but to remote Mexican border towns that tend to bring in foreigners. citizens in Mexico City or other cities. Migrant detention centers near the border with Guatemala.

“We need help so that (U.S.) immigration doesn’t deport us far from Juarez,” said Jefferson, another deported Venezuelan. “We need help […] We need them to walk in our shoes, the shoes of Venezuelan migrants.”

US Customs and Border Protection has recorded a sharp drop in migrant detentions over the past three weeks as rumors spread across Latin America that the US Supreme Court is upholding Section 42 removal provisions, possibly until June.

A Venezuelan family at the Good Samaritan Orphanage in Juarez. (photo of the border report)

But Juarez officials familiar with the migrant situation say few expelled Venezuelans are returning home. El Paso City Councilwoman Isabelle Salcido shared a similar observation in a Dec. 29 letter urging President Joe Biden to work on immigration reform.

“I have spoken to asylum seekers and migrants waiting in Juarez, Mexico, and I can assure you that most of them do not return to their countries,” the letter says. “They would rather risk their lives in Mexico and on the streets of El Paso than go home, so this crisis is here to stay.”

That’s what worries Fierro, a Methodist pastor who runs the church’s second-largest migrant shelter in Juarez. If a few Venezuelans leave and Haitians, Nicaraguans and Cubans start to arrive, resources will be depleted even more.

“If they do it in an organized way and the flows are fast – some (will be sent out), some will be taken away – then this movement will allow us to take care of as many migrants who may come or are already at the border. ,” he said.

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