TAPCHULA, Mexico ( Associated Press) – Some 2,000 migrants – mostly Venezuelans – headed north from southern Mexico early Friday, pressuring officials to allow them to continue toward the US border.
Migration has returned to the limelight with the discovery of an abandoned cargo truck in San Antonio, Texas, which houses more than 60 migrants. Fifty-three died in a failed covert immigration attempt.
At the same time, the United States Supreme Court ruled that President Joe Biden’s government was not at fault in ending his predecessor Donald Trump’s controversial measure that forced asylum seekers from Mexico to continue their procedures .
The migrants left from Tapachula in the southern state of Chiapas. Last month, when there were other mass departures of migrants from that city, the Mexican government rushed to give them provisional documents.
“One hundred percent we’re going to honor the slain migrants, because we all know it’s no secret to anyone that (the victims of the Texas truck) were also fighting for the future, just as we’re leaving, Venezuela’s Jonathan Avila, one of the organizers of the march, said.
Many migrants can no longer tolerate the Mexican strategy of keeping them further south, away from the US border. They complain that the process of normalizing their status – usually through an asylum application – is too long and given the paucity of jobs available, they cannot wait that long.
Dozens of National Guard soldiers watched the march without any intervention.
Doris Perdomo, a Venezuelan expatriate traveling with two young children, cited a United States Supreme Court ruling and said she had received false news that Biden would allow all immigrants to enter the United States.
“There was news yesterday that Biden gave free passage, that he was not going to turn back any immigrants,” said Perdomo, who waited a month to receive documents in Tapachula.
However, the court’s decision is likely to have little immediate effect, as the Biden administration has rarely implemented the so-called “ramen in Mexico” measure.
Another Trump measure that remains in place and was not affected by Thursday’s decision allows the government to expel migrants quickly without giving them a chance to apply for asylum – despite US law and an international treaty – Based on the inclusion of transmission of COVID-19. More than 20 lakh people have been expelled since that rule came into force in March 2020.
Although migrant caravans have attracted press attention, those who participate in them represent a small percentage of the migrant influx that comes to the border daily, usually with the help of smugglers.