Tension on the border with Mexico: El Paso, a historic stop on the route of immigrants to the United States

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historically, Take a step It has been a city that receives waves of immigrants who come from the south and head to the north of the United States.

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In 1893 it was founded the Church of the Sacred Heart to welcome Mexican immigrants. About 130 years later, the city is the scene of the drama of thousands of people who arrive fleeing death, kidnappings, extortion, hunger, misery and other types of generalized violence.

But the increasingly intolerant US immigration policy prevents them from passing.

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Migrants sleep at the gates of the Sacred Heart church.  Photo: AP

Migrants sleep at the gates of the Sacred Heart church. Photo: AP

In Texas, just five blocks from the border with Mexico, Father Rafael Garcia runs the Casa del Sagrado Corazón shelter, with capacity for 150 people. Thousands of immigrants arrive every month in this Hispanic neighborhood of El Paso, the poorest in the United States.

“A stopping point”

“Since December, more than 90% came from Venezuela. They have traversed all of the Darien Gap in southern Panama, all of Central America and all of Mexico which is the hardest part for them because extortion, corruption, violence, even kidnappings”, says the father.

“So come on, they’ve been through a lot when they got here. There are single women, single men, married couples, couples with kids.

“Now we have done some studies, most of them have already been processed by immigration. The Venezuelan group has the least support from relatives here in the United States. Why many of the others have a known defendantThey put their name and sponsor and the city they’re going to, so most of them don’t stay. It is not to stay here, they want to continue in other places and Sometimes they go to New York, Chicago, Miami”Explain.

“​ This is nothing but how a scale point”, he details.

Most of the migrants who come to the Church are Venezuelans.  Photo: AP

Most of the migrants who come to the Church are Venezuelans. Photo: AP

“Many want to work”

Meanwhile, many migrants try to find work, some activity to survive.

“They went to work in the fields, in agriculture. Others got construction aid jobs… All kinds of work”says Father Garcia.

And he adds that “some of the people who came here with us they are professionals”.

Karla, a Colombian migrant, places a rosary around her 9-year-old daughter in El Paso.  Photo: AP

Karla, a Colombian migrant, places a rosary around her 9-year-old daughter in El Paso. Photo: AP

“I’ve already spoken to engineers, people who have worked in the medical field, nurses, teachers… So they are prepared people. They also have a profession. Many of them want to work. They come because the situation in Venezuela it’s very bad and from what they tell us, the official salary is between 5 and 10 dollars a month,” he points out.

“One of the novelties is that in Title 8, when Title 42 ends (the law which expired this Friday which hindered the request for asylum in the name of the pandemic and has now been replaced by more stringent measures), a certain number of Venezuelans can be deported to Mexico. There is an agreement between Mexico and the United States that Mexico will receive people from various countries, not just Venezuela,” she concludes.

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Source: Clarin

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