“We are human beings!”: Venezuelans break down in tears at the foot of the US border


Devastated and frustrated, hundreds of Venezuelans languishing on the border of Mexico mourned the decision of the Supreme Court of USA on Monday to maintain immigration restrictions in the south of the North American country.

“It is a great sadness to know that we cannot pass”, said Edward Acevedo, 41, at the foot of the wall that separates the Mexican Juarez City of the American Step.

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“We have been through the jungle, hungry and cold. [Son] many calamities”, added the man who sleeps with dozens of compatriots in a makeshift shelter in a pastor’s house in Juárez.

“We are human beings! We are flesh and blood! how do we explain that to judges and governors?” Juan Delgado, 38, burst in next to him, wearing only a sweater that poorly protects him from the merciless cold of almost 0ºC.

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The crisis of the Caribbean nation governed by Nicolas Maduro It has led millions of Venezuelans to migrate. In recent months, thousands have faced the Darien jungle and crossed several countries Central America in precarious conditions to knock on the doors of USA seeking asylum.

With the rising flowWashington launched a humanitarian program in October with 24,000 places offered to Venezuelans who applied from their country. In parallel, and in an attempt to cut the migratory chain, USA closed their access to their southern border under the Title 42sanitary measure in force since 2020 in the field of the covid pandemic.

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Thousands, halfway, did not give up. Returning, many repeat, is not an alternative.

“The salary in Venezuela is 20 dollars, and with that I buy two chickens, how can you live like this? it is misery ”, explains Acevedo that he left his wife and daughter.

“Like criminals”

The title 42 that closes ports of entry to asylum seekers disrupted the southern border of USA.

With the pandemic giving truce, migratory flows were restoredand those who seek asylum take advantage of the breaches they get in the wall that stretches for more than 3,000 km along California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Most are turned over to border authorities. Some are allowed to stay to defend their asylum claim, but others are sent to their countries or to Mexico due to the measure that the Joe Biden government tries to deactivate.

A court decision had ordered the expiration of the title 42 as of December 21, but this Monday the Supreme Court temporarily upheld it, accepting a request from Republican governors opposed to immigration.

The date was eagerly awaited by thousands of Venezuelans in Mexico.

“It was the illusion of getting ahead of all the Venezuelans who are here,” said Ángel Colmenares who broke down in tears when he found out about the ruling.

“Why don’t you give us a chance?” insisted Juan Delgado. “They treat us like criminals and we just want to work.”

“We are the forgotten”

The conditions in which Venezuelans subsist in Mexico They serve as a reference for the level of despair. They warm themselves in bonfires in garbage dumps, they wash where and how they can, and many sleep in the streets.

With lines of migrants from other citizenships stretching for hours at the gates of USA and outside the cold waters of the Rio Grande, Venezuelans search for themselves selling blankets, gloves and pieces of pizza.

They cross the river with children on their shoulders and light bonfires in exchange for tips that add up to more than a month of work in their country per day.

But after the night tightens, the majority is collected. “The people from the cartels stop us,” says a Venezuelan who says he has thus lost track of his companions from the shelter. “Some never come back.”

“And when it’s not the cartels, it’s the migra, those are worse”said the same man who did not give his name for fear of retaliation.

“One denounces and nothing, we are the forgotten ones, nobody wants us. We get in the way of where we’re going.”

This desperation, some say, is what motivates them to trespass illegally in tiny gaps along America’s 30-foot-high fence.

“They won’t let us in and I can’t wait any longer,” said a Venezuelan that he crossed a small hole in which his body barely fit. “My wife is being killed by a tumor, I need money for the medicines,” said the young man who crossed himself as soon as he set foot on American soil.

four others Venezuelans they entered through the same holes within ten minutes this Monday. They immediately ran inside El Paso.

But others insist on wanting to cross legally, and for this reason they question the legal setback.

“One is emigrating with that dream, we all have that dream of getting ahead”, recounted in Ciudad Juárez Manuel Bolívar, 20 years old. “They are playing with the emotions of the migrants who have fought to get here.”

Source: Elcomercio


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