Friday, August 2, 2019

LET'S HOPE THIS IS A TREND: In a Mexican border city, Trump’s plan to discourage migrants appears to be working as some give up on asylum

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune
The controversial "remain in Mexico" plan is becoming one of the Trump administration’s most successful strategies in keeping migrants from gaining entry into the U.S. Just ask the migrants who got released into cartel weary Nuevo Laredo this week. Many are headed home.
It was the first phone call to his family back in Honduras since crossing the Texas-Mexico border, and Olvin Alexander Buezo had bad news.
He wasn’t in the United States as expected. His 7-year-old son would not be attending elementary school this fall in Foley, Alabama. There would be no good-paying U.S. job to finance the $6,000 debt he incurred to pay their smuggler.
“I already told [my uncle] to sell everything,” Buezo said during the brief but somber phone call to his wife on Tuesday. Their small “farm” — less than three acres — would have to go.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune
“There’s no other way,” he said. “The important thing is to get back home alive in Honduras.” By Thursday, Buezo was already in southern Mexico, on the way back home after abandoning his asylum claim.
He wasn’t alone. On two recent afternoons this week at a Mexican migrant processing facility in Nuevo Laredo, dozens of Central Americans were asked by The Texas Tribune to raise their hands if they wanted to return to their countries of origin. Nearly all of them did.
They had just been marched across an international bridge from Laredo into Nuevo Laredo under the nascent “remain in Mexico” program. They said Mexican authorities gave them a choice: fend for themselves in the rough-and-tumble border town or board a chartered bus for a free ride to bustling Monterrey a few hours south. As night approached, dozens were opting for the safety of the bus over the mean streets of Nuevo Laredo, getting on board in the same clothes they had on when they crossed the border and carrying the asylum paperwork they got on the other side.
Many won’t be coming back. Though U.S. immigration officials had given them a “notice to appear” in coming weeks for asylum hearings at a yet-to-be-completed courthouse near the Rio Grande in Laredo, many said they’re giving up and returning home to avoid becoming sitting ducks for the local drug cartels or winding up deeper in debt for an ever-decreasing chance of gaining entry to the United States.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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