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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Migrants live inhumane situations in their struggle to seek the "American dream"

The heat does not let up on the US-Mexico border, temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit are recorded between Piedras Negras, Coahuila, and Eagle Pass, Texas. The situation worsens for those who have been walking for more than 6 hours, migrants who experience inhumane situations in their struggle to find the "American dream." 

After traveling between the Texan city of Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras, Coahuila, in Mexico, opposite points on the border, Manuel Ortiz, sociologist and audiovisual journalist, pointed out that the point feels like "a war zone", where although there are guards on both sides, organized crime controls who passes and who does not, from the side of Mexico.

This is how the founder and director of Peninsula 360 Press told it in a talk with Marcos Gutiérrez, during the radio program «Hecho en California», where he specified that the extreme measures, bordering on fascist, imposed by the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, such as putting a floating barrier with 1.20-meter buoys in the Rio Grande, have already caused the death of two people, while it pushes migrants to seek entry to the American union through much more complicated points in terms of security.

Barbed wire mesh and cargo containers add to the measures, these can be seen along the border at Eagle Pass. Added to this are the giant buoys and boat patrols, even on the Mexican side, an action for which there are already complaints, Ortiz said.

“Is the situation here very complicated? The conditions are very harsh. The temperature here exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it's quite a lot, just walking here about 50 or 60 meters makes you suffocate and it's hard for you to breathe, but people told me that they walked for about 6 hours before meeting the border patrol." , he detailed.

To this are added complaints that, by mandate of Governor Abbott, the border patrol cannot offer water to these immigrants, and although Manuel did not find cases like that, there are reports that there have been several cases. As for the treatment, there is everything, he said, because as there are friendly officers who ask about the state of health, there are others who limit themselves to giving orders.

"It feels like a war zone. Many families with small children are arriving. I have a photograph of a pregnant woman, there are babies months old, there are children of 4, 5, 7 years old, who are exhausted and their fathers and mothers have to carry them. I am walking in this area, I only bring my camera and it weighs me down because of the heat it feels. So, imagine what it feels like here to carry a 6 or 7-year-old child for a 6-hour journey, it's really strong.

Migrants live inhumane situations in their struggle to seek the "American dream"
Temperatures are above 100 degrees Fahrenheit between Piedras Negras, Coahuila, and Eagle Pass, Texas, migrants can walk for more than 6 hours, and among them are families with small children, months-old babies or pregnant women. Photo: Manuel Ortiz, P360P

One of the many migrants he met on the way told Manuel what they are looking for.

«I am from Venezuela and we crossed the Rio Grande to the shore, and then we turned ourselves in to the United States officials. We want to enter the country of the United States for a better future for our families, we want political asylum, that they accept us and that everything be in the name of God. May everything go well, "was heard in an audio.

The cost of an opportunity

Manuel Ortiz met with local journalists who cover the situation from Mexico, the only way to get to know the ins and outs of how an opportunity to seek the "American dream" is negotiated, yes, with nothing guaranteed, not even arriving alive.  

The border is taken over by organized crime. Beyond drug cartels, various points are sequestered by criminal groups for human trafficking and, alleging that the situation has become complicated, they went from charging 500 to 1,500 dollars per person, just to cross them, a type of local fee that it is added to the 5, 6 or 12 thousand dollars that they have already paid to get from their countries of origin to places near the crossing points.

Depending on the toad, the stone

The charges are not even, because depending on the country of origin is the cost of passing. Ortiz said that those migrants from China are the ones who are charged the most, not so with those from Haiti, because, he said, they know that they do not have many resources.

The situation, he pointed out, according to colleagues, is complicated when these criminal groups are in collusion with the Mexican authorities.

«Without the collaboration of these colleagues I would not have been able to carry out this work, because they led me to the points. We got in, they gave me the route, it is very difficult to enter. Human trafficking is completely controlled, according to them, and in collusion with the Mexican authorities, particularly with "Fuerza Coahuila" and with the state police. They tell me that here, unlike other points, drug cartels do not operate so much, but criminal groups that are not necessarily identified as cartels do.

The foregoing added to Abbott's measures, Manuel said, has caused migrants to be forced to seek other entry points to the US, some much more isolated, but also more dangerous, such is the case of a place called "The Moral".

Migrants live inhumane situations in their struggle to seek the "American dream"
Extreme measures, bordering on fascist, imposed by the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, such as putting a floating barrier with 1.20-meter buoys in the Rio Grande, have already caused the death of two people. Photo: Manuel Ortiz, P360P

“The human traffickers who control these territories are in complete collusion with the Mexican authorities. What I am seeing is that, on the side of the United States, the Texas government is deploying all these inhumane measures that are putting the lives of migrants at risk because they are also forcing them to go to much more dangerous areas, much more isolated, and on the Mexican side they are also going to a place called El Moral. They are areas further away from the city, therefore they are much more at the expense of these people traffickers."

However, migrants point out that they prefer to enter through Piedras Negras, as they point out that "criminal groups seem to be calmer, unlike other points on the border, where it is impossible."

broken dreams

"C"When they arrive in the United States, the people I interviewed think that they already did it, that they made it. ?We are already here, we are already in the United States, we already feel good, it was very hard, but we survived.? Unfortunately, these people are going to be deported the next day," Manuel said.

Traffickers cross migrants ?along with their dreams? in the hottest hours, between 12 and 1 pm, justifying the time by pointing out that, due to the temperature, there will be fewer border patrols.

Deportations occur at the same hours. Some migrants who managed to cross and are detained by the border patrol spend the night on the US side, but are returned the next day, a fact that translates into enormous risk for those who are returned, since they are already expected again by organized crime.

The deported migrants do not carry any more money, they have left everything they own on the way. Criminal groups know this and take advantage of the situation, they seek to win anyway. 

Thus, Ortiz said, criminals abuse women and children, while some who have family in the United States are kidnapped trying to extort their acquaintances, so that they are released.

In Piedras Negras there is no shelter as such, so the migrants stay in Methodist or Catholic churches that provide protection to the migrants, often doing the work that the authorities do not do.

While the Mexican government has spoken out against Abbott's inhumane measures, it has done little to stop criminal groups on the border.

"?In Mexico? The authorities have focused on stopping migrants, including from the southern border, but it seems that not enough is being done to stop organized crime groups that also put the lives of migrants on the Mexican side at risk. A very complex picture on both sides.”

“What is happening at the border is a true tragedy, so it is necessary to do much more work in a humane way on both sides, on both governments, on both countries. It is not easy to solve the immigration issue; however, it is noticeable that what should be done is not being done on both sides, “concluded Ortiz.

You may be interested in: Probable Honduran body found in floating barrier off Eagle Pass, Texas

Peninsula 360 Press
Peninsula 360 Presshttps://peninsula360press.com
Study of cross-cultural digital communication


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