Central American migrants are angry. They were told all they had to do was get across the U.S. border and they would be turned loose to pursue the American dream. Then they found out the reality. President Trump’s strict new border policy has them waiting in line back in Mexico until they have their court date.
Camping out in cities like Juarez and Tijuana turned out to be a much bigger challenge than the migrants expected, so dozens of them have already accepted Mexico’s offer of a bus ride back home.
With help from the International Organization for Migration, Mexico started a “temporary program of voluntary return.” A spokesman from Mexico’s foreign ministry explains that 66 migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador — who had been transferred by U.S. Border Patrol back to Ciudad Juarez — made the return trip.
As relayed by local advocate Javier Calvillo, instead of waiting months or even years for the legal backlog to unwind, “the people want to go back to their places of origin, and want to leave this dream behind and go back to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.”
Currently, there are around 15,000 of the migrants waiting in Mexico under the “Migration Protection Protocols.” We call it the “Remain in Mexico” program. Advocate groups are furious that the border isn’t wide open any more. These refugees, they insist, are at risk. They are being forced to live for “extended periods” in “some of Mexico’s most violent cities.”
The Mexican government “will continue to provide support to foreigners who are in Mexico on a regular basis, in order to carry out the return to their countries of origin, if they so request,” the National Migration Institute assures. Any migrants who want to go home are provided with documents which “allow them to reenter Mexico when the date for their court day in the U.S. approaches.”
The Central Americans are having a difficult time finding work despite the Mexican president’s promise of 40,000 factory jobs. The owners of those factories aren’t hiring anyone, no matter how bad they need workers, unless the applicant can pass a background check. Members of MS-13 need not apply, they say.
Guatemala, Mexico’s southern neighbor, has recently started to do their part to control the invasion flooding northward. On the Fourth of July, Guatemalan troops made a sweep of “towns, villages and bus stations,” detaining nearly 100 people who were then sent back to their home countries.
1.00 Trump 2020 Tees
All of this cooperation started when President Donald Trump slapped some fierce penalties on Mexico, then held them in suspension as long as they do their best to prevent the flood from entering their country in the first place. At the same time, he canceled all the pending foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
“We were paying them tremendous amounts of money. And we’re not paying them anymore. Because they haven’t done a thing for us. They set up these caravans,” the president tweeted.