Hundreds of African migrants are finding themselves trapped in Mexico’s southern border region after new immigration rules no longer allow them safe passage to the U.S. The rule changes now say they must naturalize in Mexico or exit through its southern border.
A Cameroonian migrant, Esteban Azu, 37, said he paid human smugglers $8,000 to get him into the U.S. He said his journey took him from his home country to Turkey, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and finally to Mexico, Animal Politico reported.
“I arrived in Tapachula a month ago. I left Cameroon and went directly to Ecuador. From there to Colombia. I climbed mountains, walked through the jungle, to find this shit,” Azu expressed. “This shit! They don’t feed me. They don’t give me anything. I am very angry with the government of Mexico. This is not normal. This is bullshit. We need a solution. We just want to get out of here.”
The man who claims to be a plumber by trade, now finds himself trapped in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.
A June 7 rule change that stems from an agreement between the U.S. and Mexico no longer allows safe passage to the United States. Mexico deployed thousands of its newly formed National Guard to enforce the new laws and deter migration through the country, Breitbart Texas reported. Since that time, migration through Mexico has dropped by about 40 percent.
Prior to the rule change, more than 1,100 African migrants arrived in a single Texas Border Patrol sector in a five-week period, Breitbart Texas reported in July.
In a press call in June, Brian Hastings, U.S. Border Patrol Chief of Law Enforcement Operations, told reporters this was the first large group “ever recorded in Border Patrol history solely from Central and South Africa. We’ve never seen that demographic in a large group of that size before.”
Prior to the rule change, migrants — African or others — received a 20-day passage through the country and were required to leave via any border. Obviously, the goal was the northern border of Mexico.
The new document being provided to migrants in southern Mexico states that the migrant may not “travel freely.” The document says they now must leave the country in 20 days “through a place destined for the international transit of people on the southern border closest to the place where said document was issued.”
Animal Politico interviews dozens of migrants — mostly Africans — who told the same story. They stated they were ordered to go to the regularization office or they may apply for asylum in Mexico. Neither option is said to be acceptable as their stated goal is entry into the United States.
“They do not want to request refuge in Chiapas because they want to do so in the United States,” Animal Politico stated.
Mexican immigration authorities reported that 3,712 people from Africa appeared between January and June 2019. The majority of those came from Cameroon. Most of the balance came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Similar demographics were reported by Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials in June when more than 500 African migrants appeared along the U.S. side of Mexico’s northern border in a one-week period, Breitbart Texas reported.
Two weeks before the illegal crossings began in the Del Rio Sector, hundreds of African migrants gathered near an international bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, to protest not being allowed entry into the U.S. through a legal port of entry, Breitbart News reported. The group complained that Cuban migrants were given preferential treatment.
Since that time, multiple groups of African migrants, mostly family units, crossed in the same area in large numbers. On June 5, agents apprehended another group of 34, bringing the total to more than 500 in less than a week.
In June and July, U.S. officials reported sharp decreases in the number of migrants being apprehended after crossing the border illegally.