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Migrants continue crossing Rio Grande into U.S. despite deportations to southern Mexico

The U.S. is expelling migrants who cross the border and handing them over to the National Migration Institute federal agency in Mexico to be returned to the southern border at Guatemala

Migrantes caminan cerca del muro que separa la frontera estadounidense en Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua (México).
Migrantes caminan cerca del muro que separa la frontera estadounidense en Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua (México). | EFE/Luis Torres

May 28, 2024 2:18pm

Updated: May 29, 2024 9:11am

Despite the increasing deportations and operations of the United States and Mexico, migrants on the border of the Mexican Ciudad Juárez with the American El Paso insist on crossing the Rio Grande (Grande) border irregularly, according to information collected by ADN and recent reports published by the EFE Spanish news agency.

The situation came to light since last week after U.S. authorities expelled 200 migrants who crossed through gate 40 of the wall were handed them over to the Mexican National Migration Institute (INM) in Ciudad Juárez, where they were warned that they would be sent to Chiapas, a southern Mexico border state, the outlet said.

Venezuelan Marco Galindo said it was “very frustrating” to restart his route, according to the agency's interviews: “It is as if it were a failure,” he said of his initial journey. “Everyone is looking for the dream of going to the United States, and since we are here … they make life impossible. The Immigration, the National Guard, chases us everywhere,” the migrant said.

The South American pointed out that among those stranded in the Rio Grande, there is now fear about whether to cross or not, because while in the Texas National Guard just push them back across the river, INM agents in Mexico return them all the way to the south of Mexico in a truck hands tied, according to the rumor that has grown among migrants.

The Venezuelan also said that many migrants have been in Juárez for more than five months. There, many of them have threats and violence from Mexican organized crime gangs.

The growing violence has made their 10 kilometer trip along the border even more frightening and risky.

What is happening in Ciudad Juárez reflects the growing restrictions at the border. On May 9 the U.S. government enacted a rule that instructs immigration agents to prohibit people considered a “risk to public safety” from being granted asylum.

Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador agreed in late April “to work together to immediately implement concrete measures to significantly reduce irregular border crossings while protecting human rights.”

In the first quarter of 2024 alone, irregular migration intercepted by the Mexican government grew by nearly 200% a year to almost 360,000.

José Luna Ochoa, another migrant from Venezuela who was stationed on the Rio Grande waiting to cross, attributed the operations to the fact that this year the elections in the United States and Mexico coincide.

He said that, in addition to the climate, they deal with the insecurity that the Aztec country represents, due to the pursuit of immigration authorities and kidnappings by organized crime.

“Yes, it is worth it, we want to give our children a better future, since in our country there is no education, there is no security, there is no health, we are in a dictatorship, a salary is seven dollars a month and two dollars is worth a kilo of flour to make some arepas,” the migrant told EFE.

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