Mexico stops some bus lines from operating in northern states

Photo: Newsweek Mexico

Mexico has halted some bus lines from operation in the state of Coahuila in an effort to prevent migrants from using the buses to reach border towns, an official said.

Luis Ángel Urraza, president of the local chamber of commerce, said the bus lines had been stopped by Mexican authorities and the U.S. government had closed the bridge connecting Ciudad Acuña and Del Rio, Texas, to stem the flow of migrants.

He said the closure is wearing on merchants in the area, who are waiting for the migrant population to drop enough for the bridge to be reopened again.

In further efforts to halt migration, a federal Mexican official told the Associated Press on Sunday that the government plans to take migrants to the northern Mexican city of Monterrey and the southern city of Tapachula, and begin flights to Haiti from those cities in coming days.

That was enough for some Haitian migrants to return to Mexico, while others struggled to decide on which side of the border to take their chances.

Jean Claudio Charles, 34, his wife, and their 1-year-old son were stretching at dawn on Tuesday after sleeping on cardboard in a park by the river with 300 others who chose to return to Mexico from the U.S. side, some for fear of being deported and others because of a lack of food.

Charles said he did not want to leave the area, which is gradually becoming a new camp on the Mexican side, for fear of arrests.

“They are grabbing people, they bother us, especially Haitians because they identify us by skin,” he said.

On Monday, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas conceded it was a “challenging and heartbreaking situation,” but he issued a stark warning: “If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned. Your journey will not succeed, and you will be endangering your life and your family’s life.”

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretary, Marcelo Ebrard, said Tuesday he had spoken with his U.S. counterpart, Antony Blinken, about the Haitians’ situation. Ebrard said most of the Haitians already had refugee status in Chile or Brazil and most weren’t seeking it in Mexico.

“What they are asking for is to be allowed to pass freely through Mexico to the United States,” Ebrard said.

Source: Newsweek Mexico