The New Migrant Separation Crisis Brewing Under Biden Is Happening in Mexico

TAPACHULA, Mexico—After strolling round 20 miles beneath the burning solar, Irineo Mujica and Luis Villagran, the 2 fundamental organizers, gathered the complete caravan round them to ship the information. Mexican immigration authorities had been providing a solution to allow them to stroll freely across the nation: they’ll give out official immigration playing cards—however solely to ladies and youngsters.

Marissa Flores and her husband Emanuel checked out one another unsure and with concern; they’d walked over 300 miles from El Salvador to the place they had been standing. Each, together with their two youngsters, a 3-year-old boy and a 1-year-old woman, left house three months in the past after Emanuel was threatened by “La 18” members, probably the most violent gangs in El Salvador.

“We determined that we couldn’t be aside, we should not, and that’s why we got here collectively, as a household,” Marissa informed The Each day Beast.

However the authorities’s provide was once more threatening to tug them aside. In the event that they took the provide, Marissa and the children would have a greater likelihood to make it to the U.S., however that meant Emanuel must be despatched again to El Salvador to face the risk put out by the gang.


Marissa Flores and her husband Emanuel walked over 300 miles from El Salvador.

Luis Chaparro

“We can’t be egocentric,” Mujica yelled over a megaphone. “If we don’t shield our ladies, particularly these pregnant, what’s the entire level of the caravan?”

Mujica and Villagran disagreed for a couple of minutes. Villagran thought that this could be their final likelihood to maintain transferring north, whereas Mujica thought it was a entice to dismantle the caravan. To get to an settlement they determined to let the migrants vote.

Marissa and Emanuel each raised their palms to vote for “no”.

“We are able to’t separate. That is the entire level, to avoid wasting his life and to be collectively as a household,” mentioned Marissa.

Whereas the U.S. government is in talks to compensate families separated at the border under Trump, migrant households are nonetheless being separated, solely this time by Mexican palms.

Mexico accepted a brand new immigration regulation this yr that prohibits youngsters beneath 18 from being jailed in immigration detention facilities—as was occurring earlier than—and as a substitute requires authorities to take them to an official shelter for minors, the place they’re nonetheless often deported.

Moreover, in an settlement with the U.S. after a sequence of bilateral discussions earlier this yr, Mexican authorities have dedicated to deploying about 10,000 troops over the southern border “to make it harder to make the journey, and make crossing the borders harder,” as White House press secretary Jen Psaki put it in an April press convention.

On the bottom, Mexican authorities are making casual provides to ladies and youngsters in caravans like this one.

Rita Robles, a migrant Human Rights activist in Chiapas, mentioned that “the insurance policies for detention and deportation by Mexican authorities” beneath stress from the U.S. are a brand new solution to separate migrant households.

“When a migrant household is detained by Mexican authorities, adults are taken into immigration detention facilities and the kids are taken to DIF [Mexico’s system of shelters for kids],” she mentioned.


The caravan stops for contemporary air after strolling for 20 miles beneath the intense warmth outdoors Huixtla.

Luis Chaparro

Marissa and Emanuel mentioned they left their house in San Salvador after gang members tried to extort Emanuel for round $50 every week.

“They informed me it was the brand new worth for security within the neighborhood, to care for my household, our automotive and our home,” Emanuel mentioned.

However after lacking the primary cost, he mentioned, two armed males entered his house and informed him he needed to collect $500 by the top of the day or he could be killed.

“We left that very same afternoon with out something on our palms however a few backpacks with garments and our kids,” Emanuel mentioned.

The vast majority of the caravan voted “no” to separating, so the organizers had to return to the Mexican authorities with the reply: they’ll maintain strolling collectively, “as an enormous household,” as Mujica mentioned.

“This can be a household caravan, that is the caravan of the children and the household,” he mentioned.

After voting, the caravan stopped to relaxation for the rest of the day earlier than departing to Ulapa. For the primary time through the journey, they traveled by evening, avoiding the solar.

“The authorities say they’re following us to guard us, however the actuality is they’re ready for our kids or our ladies to get drained or to dehydrate and take us again to Tapachula,” mentioned Nelson, a 34-year-old migrant from Honduras touring together with his spouse and a 4-year-old boy.

Nelson could be proper. In the course of the first 4 days of strolling, round 20 migrants have been taken again to Tapachula by Mexican authorities for medical circumstances, in keeping with the Mexican Immigration Institute, a authorities company.

Nelson, who has been in two caravans this yr, informed The Each day Beast that not like the previous caravan, this time authorities weren’t permitting migrants to leap into automobiles to maneuver sooner. (The primary caravan, in late August, was violently blocked by Mexican immigration authorities earlier than leaving Tapachula. In the course of the conflict, a person was brutally kicked within the head by a Mexican immigration worker.)

“That’s what they [Mexican authorities] are searching for, to put on us up and have us voluntarily bounce into their buses,” he mentioned.


A migrant girl will get medical consideration for blisters on her toes.

Luis Chaparro

In keeping with organizers’ figures, the caravan has round 65 pregnant ladies, 40 infants beneath a yr previous, and round 400 individuals beneath 18.

Though she needed to obtain medical consideration on the second day of strolling due to the blisters on her toes, Marissa is hopeful they’ll make all of it the way in which to the U.S.

“Little by little, however we’ll get there. Individuals on the caravan are very supportive, if somebody is harm, we assist and all of us wait. Because of this we voted to remain collectively,” she mentioned.

However the caravan nonetheless has greater than 1,200 miles to go to the U.S.

“In the event that they didn’t break us down right this moment, they won’t break us down till we get to the American dream,” mentioned Nelson. way of=rss | The New Migrant Separation Disaster Brewing Beneath Biden Is Occurring in Mexico


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