AMERICA/MEXICO - Bishop of Nogales denounces: "Migrants as bargaining chips"

Monday, 28 November 2016 migrants   refugees   bishops  

Nogales (Agenzia Fides) - "Migrants are seen as bargaining chips when they enter Mexico for transit", said the Bishop of the Diocese of Nogales, His Exc. Mgr. José Leopoldo González González, "this is how they appear in the eyes of criminal organizations", he said speaking to the local press on November 26, according to the note sent to Fides.
A huge number of migrants, who live and sleep on the street waiting for an appointment with the visa office to ask permission to enter the United States, have arrived in the city of Nogales. Nogales is located 800 km from Tijuana, a border area where there is the largest group of migrants, not only Central Americans, who try to enter the US territory, and head towards San Diego, California.
"I have realized that in this year and a half since my arrival in the Diocese of Nogales, the people who come, who manage to set foot on Mexican soil, migrants, foreigners and Mexicans themselves, are seen as a bargaing chip" explained the Bishop . "When they begin to move in our country, from south to north, there are criminal groups that treat them as bargaining chips, as objects to be exploited".
The Bishop said that just over a month ago, when he celebrated Mass at the border (see Fides 24/10/2016), he asked the authorities if they were prepared to manage the massive influx of Haitians and Africans that was recorded in Baja California. A few days later the arrival of these people in Nogales began. "We are not prepared for the emergency, that is to say we do not have the facilities to provide shelter and hospitality, but we have the generosity of our people and volunteers from the Church", he said.
Thanks to the generosity of the people, there is an immediate aid to migrants for their basic needs, said Mgr. González González, but migrants are not only Haitians and Africans, there are Central Americans and Mexicans themselves. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 28/11/2016)