Sunday, May 21, 2023

Thousands of Migrants Risk Death on Mexico’s ‘Beast’ Train to Border; Migrants Risk Life and Limb to Jump Mexico Trains in Rush to Border, and related stories

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Thousands of migrants risk death on Mexico’s ‘Beast’ train to border:
For more than a decade, desperate migrants crossing Mexico on their way to the US border have risked their lives to hop a series of fast-moving freight cars — referred to collectively as La Bestia or “the Beast” — that are so dangerous they are known as “death trains.”
Every year up to 500,000 migrants from Central America, but also lately from Venezuela, ride on top of box cars that normally transport grain, cement and other industrial materials to the US border. Many have been killed, or lost limbs when they have fallen off the roof and under the steel wheels of the rapidly moving freight cars.
And as Title 42 — a Trump-era policy that allowed US Border Patrol to immediately send back migrants to Mexico — comes to an end Thursday, there have been numerous reports of migrants increasingly taking to the rails to join the thousands of asylum seekers along the nearly 2,000-mile US southern border.
“The cargo trains, which run along multiple lines, carry products north for export,” reads a report from he Migration Policy Institute, a Washington, DC-based think tank that studies immigration policy. “As there are no passenger railcars, migrants must ride atop the moving trains, facing physical dangers that range from amputation to death if they fall or are pushed.”
They also face extreme cold on top of the cars at night, and blistering heat on blazing summer days.
Despite the danger, thousands of the poorest migrants and those who do not have the temporary visas required by the Mexican government to travel through the country are hopping on the moving trains, some with infants and small children in tow.
The appeal: Migrants do not pay for their journey to border towns such as Piedras Negras, across from the US border at Eagle Pass, Texas, or Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso.
“It’s very dangerous,” said Robert Almonte, a security consultant who uses a video of migrants hopping the trains in his lectures to law enforcement officials across the country. “When they are on top of the trains some of the migrants push each other off because there is so little space. I show a video in my talks of one person being sliced in half after he falls off a train and onto the wheels. It just goes to show the lengths people go to to get through Mexico.” --->READ MORE HERE
 REUTERS/Gustavo Graf
Migrants risk life and limb to jump Mexico trains in rush to border:
Thousands of migrants in Mexico have been clambering onto dangerous freight trains rumbling northward in a scramble to reach the U.S. border by the time the United States ends a tough migration policy later this week.
In recent weeks, up to several hundred people have boarded daily, activists and officials say, with many setting off atop train cars pulling out from a brief stopping point at a garbage dump in Huehuetoca, a town north of Mexico City.
The rush has intensified as news circulates about the end on Thursday night of Title 42- a COVID-era policy that since 2020 has allowed the U.S. to rapidly expel migrants back to Mexico.
The U.S. is preparing for a jump in border crossings when it goes, piling more pressure on authorities already grappling with record levels of illegal entry.
Many migrants want to reach the border as soon as possible, although they are unsure what the rules will now be. Washington has said it will finalize a new regulation this week that will deny asylum to many.
“Will it be easier? I doubt it,” said Romario Solano, 23, a Venezuelan, while waiting for hours in baking sun near the trash-strewn rail tracks in Huehuetoca. “We know that as migration has increased, tougher measures have been taken.”
Solano acknowledged that riding the train was dangerous, but said he did not have money for a bus. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to related stories:

Take a ride with migrants on 'the train of death'

Aboard ‘the Beast’ on a Journey to America

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