By Josue Gonzalez and Jorge Lopez
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Hundreds of Haitian asylum seekers congregated outside Mexico’s refugee agency in the capital and in shelters in the northern city of Monterrey on Wednesday, as migrants deterred by a crackdown at the U.S. border sought legal status in Mexico.
An estimated 10,000 migrants from Haiti are still living in worsening conditions under an unplanned camp, which was set up in the Rio Grande, between the Texas town of Del Rio and Mexico’s Ciudad Acuna.
At least 4,000 persons have been removed from the camp by U.S. officials to be detained in U.S. centers. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security stated that 523 Haitians were deported back to Haiti on four separate flights. Repatriations will continue regularly.
Filippo Grandi (head of U.N. refugee agency) warned that U.S. expulsions to such volatile situations could be in violation international law.
Some Haitian migrants crossing through Mexico decided that it was better to apply for legal status in Mexico than risking their lives crossing into the United States because of the chaotic scene at the border.
My goal is to have a better quality of life wherever it may be found. Wilner Plaisir from Haiti, an asylum seeker who was waiting in line at the Mexican refugee agency COMAR Mexico City on Wednesday said that he never meant it needed to be there.
The construction worker said, “If you can find me work, then I will stay here with my family.”
COMAR statistics show that 18883 Haitians sought asylum in Mexico during the first eight months this year. This is the second highest nationality, after Hondurans.
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