CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexicans in search of refuge in the USA to flee violence and lawlessness of their homeland concern worse risks if they’re despatched to Guatemala below a brand new Trump administration scheme to crack down on asylum seekers.
Below U.S. guidelines made public on Monday, Mexicans requesting safety on the U.S.-Mexican border may be flown to Guatemala to hunt refuge there as an alternative.
U.S. President Donald Trump final yr reacted to a surge in Central Individuals requesting asylum with a collection of insurance policies geared toward holding them out of the USA. The newest guidelines apply to migrants from Mexico in addition to Honduras and El Salvador, in line with steering paperwork, and can doubtless have the impact of suppressing Mexican entry to U.S. asylum.
It was unclear when the USA would start sending Mexicans to Guatemala. The Mexican authorities estimated that 900 Mexican asylum seekers may very well be affected from February, with out giving a timeframe or explaining the way it reached that quantity.
Mexicans who say their properties are unsafe as a result of drug gang extortion mentioned the coverage leaves them few choices.
“I can’t go residence, they’ve already kidnapped my brother and son,” mentioned Carlos, a Mexican in search of to achieve the USA through the border metropolis of Tijuana. He mentioned he had fled legal gangs within the southwestern state of Guerrero.
“They’re after me. If I’m going again they’re positive to kill me. If I’m not protected in Mexico, I’ll be even much less protected in Guatemala,” he mentioned, requesting his final title be withheld for safety causes. Reuters couldn’t independently corroborate his story.
Because the finish of Guatemala’s civil struggle in 1996, the nation has persistently had the next murder charge than Mexico, its extra affluent northern neighbor.
In the previous few years, the distinction has narrowed as Mexico’s homicide tally, fueled by turf wars between drug gangs, rose to document ranges and Guatemala’s declined.
Guatemala, nevertheless, is poorer and harmful, and Mexicans usually have fewer contacts there than in the USA.
Eugenio, 48, arrived within the border metropolis of Ciudad Juarez together with his household 4 months in the past and has been on a ready record for the prospect to current his case to U.S. officers ever since. He estimated his flip will come up later this week and the prospect of being despatched to Guatemala was excessive on his thoughts.
“Going to Guatemala is like strolling straight into the lion’s den,” Eugenio mentioned, explaining he feared that the criminals he mentioned had threatened his household in central Mexico might observe him down throughout the fluid southern border. If he did not get asylum in the USA, he mentioned, he would strive Canada.
On the finish of December, after reviews first emerged that Washington was contemplating sending Mexican asylum seekers to Guatemala, a bunch of Mexican migrants filed a grievance with Mexico’s Nationwide Human Rights Fee (CNDH) requesting assist blocking the plan, saying it could put them at risk.
Mexico’s authorities on Monday mentioned it “rejected” the brand new U.S. coverage however acknowledged that the choice was as much as U.S. authorities.
Sitting in a cold camp in Ciudad Juarez, one girl from the state of Zacatecas, who declined to provide her title, mentioned she was making an attempt to achieve the USA as a result of she had household there, and can be protected.
“I’m not going due to the American dream, I’m going and taking my children as a result of we’d like safety, we’d like security,” she mentioned in tears, describing how she had fled a job as a scientist in a laboratory after she beginning being adopted and receiving telephone threats.
She described the brand new coverage as strain geared toward making folks like her surrender her asylum declare.
“They know we gained’t wish to go to a different nation the place we gained’t have household help,” she mentioned.
Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Enhancing by Dave Graham and Rosalba O’Brien