AMERICA/MEXICO - Thousands of Haitians at the border with the USA: more support is needed from the Mexican government

Wednesday, 28 September 2016 refugees   politics   poverty  

Tijuana (Agenzia Fides) – In 2016, 7,800 Haitians have arrived in Mexico from Guatemala in their attempt to reach the United States, informs the Mexican immigration authorities. The National Institute of Migration (INM) says that 1,701 people come from African countries and 3,753 from Asian countries, according to an entry stamp at the immigration Center of the city of Tapachula, on the border with Guatemala.
As migrants cannot be repatriated, Mexico grants them a 20-day temporary visa to cross the country and reach the United States, their final destination. However, last week the US government intensified its efforts to expell thousands of Haitians who arrived in recent months via the border crossings in California with Mexico.
Several warnings were sent to Fides on the difficult situation. In Tijuana, a Mexican city near the US border, Haitians must wait up to three weeks to get an appointment to present their case to the authorities of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the United States.
In the meantime, many are forced to look for a place where to stay and eat in this Mexican city.
Father Patrick Murphy, of the Scalabrini Missionaries (MS), General Coordinator of the network of migrant homes, who runs the Casa del Migrante in Tijuana, has already welcomed thousands of Haitians waiting for an appointment with the authorities, but, believes greater support is needed from the Mexican government, "not only because it is necessary, but because this situation is just the beginning", he said. In these days steps are being taken to coordinate the Catholic Church with members of other Christian churches to help the Haitians from the US, especially in the Baja California area. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 28/09/2016)