© Reuters. Migrants break for relaxation whereas touring in a caravan heading to Mexico City, in Arriaga close to the border with Oaxaca state, Mexico November 7, 2021. REUTERS/Raquel Cunha
By Lizbeth Diaz
TIJUANA (Reuters) – Emboldened by information that the United States and Mexico will reopen shared land-border crossings, a whole bunch of migrants have arrived at Mexican border cities like Tijuana, hoping the reset will make it simpler to cross and search U.S. asylum.
Starting on Monday, the almost 2,000-mile (3,200-km) border can be open once more to non-essential journey after a 20-month closure geared toward curbing the unfold of COVID-19. Both nations have succeeded in reducing new infections and vaccinating border communities.
Another drive to enter the United States may enhance strain on Washington to tighten the border after a bounce in migrants this 12 months from troubled areas of Central America and the Caribbean examined President Joe Biden.
“I’m going to try. We want to get across the border. I can’t be in Mexico anymore. There’s a lot of violence here,” mentioned Andrea Morales, a Guatemalan who has been residing in a makeshift camp for a month subsequent to Tijuana’s El Chaparral border crossing.
“Four days ago, the government took away our lights and fenced us in like animals. I put my faith in God so I can cross and give my kids a better life,” Morales mentioned as she stood nursing her child amid dozens of tents.
Local authorities angered migrants final week after they threw away tents and different belongings that had been left within the camp they’ve occupied since February.
Migrant advocates say many individuals have been misled about what the border restart means for their asylum prospects.
“There’s a lot of misinformation. We have explained to them that the reopening of the border is for people who have papers, a visa, to cross and it’s not a reopening for people to cross and ask for asylum and humanitarian aid,” mentioned Jose Garcia, head of migrant shelter Movimiento Juventud 2000 in Tijuana.
“They haven’t listened to us and they don’t want to wait,” he added, saying the variety of migrants within the shelter had risen by a 3rd for the reason that reopening was introduced on Oct. 15.
Mexicans are additionally arriving.
Many migrants in Tijuana mentioned they have been fleeing violence in Mexican states akin to Michoacan and Guerrero, and aimed to cross on Monday to ask for asylum.
In 2020, 9,700 Mexicans have been displaced by violence, a bounce of over a 3rd from the earlier 12 months, based on the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.
The pandemic, together with a surge in U.S. asylum requests, has meant hundreds of migrants spend months in Mexico ready for a response to their petitions or simply an opportunity to file them.
“I never left with the intention of staying in Mexico. It’s like Honduras,” mentioned Augusto Martinez, a Honduran who arrived in Tijuana three weeks in the past together with his spouse and 5 kids. “We’re definitely going to try and cross.”
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