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Blinken cautions Haitian migrants against ‘profoundly dangerous’ trek to U.S. By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Thousands of migrants shelter near Del Rio International Bridge as they wait to be processed from Ciudad Acuna, Texas. They crossed the Rio Grande into the U.S. after crossing it. This was September 18, 2021. REUTERS/Adrees Latif


Simon Lewis

MEXICO CITY, (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary Anthony Blinken warned Haitian migrants on Friday that they will not be able to reach the United States. His Mexican counterpart commented that some had been lured into making the difficult trek in false hopes.

The top U.S. diplomat visited Mexico to present a new joint security plan and mend ties with an ally increasingly relied upon by the Biden administration to act as a buffer and stem the flow of migrants heading to the United States.

When asked how America was treating migrants humanely, Blinken said that “the journey is deeply dangerous” and would not be successful.

Blinken stated that U.S. officials and Mexican officials have been in close contact over an increase in Haitian migrants crossing into Mexico. Many of these immigrants had traveled from South America, where they were originally settled. In recent weeks, a border camp in Del Rio in Texas has grown to include 14,000 migrants mainly from Haiti.

The United States expelled thousands of people from Haiti since then, and allowed others to follow U.S. immigration cases. Mexico recently started flights to transport people back to Haiti.

Migrant rights activists have condemned the deportation to Haiti. The country is currently in turmoil with violence and poverty.

Filippo Grandi, the top UN refugee official, said that “deportation to Haiti wasn’t the right approach” and “was not humane”. He also stated on Friday that Mexico and the United States sometimes had deported individuals “without due process.”

Marcelo Ebrard from Mexico, the Mexican Foreign Minister said along with Blinken that many Haitian migrants crossing South America to get legal residence in America were deceived.

He said that Mexico could accept the asylum of the many Mexicans currently in uncertainty.

Ebrard explained that “if 15,000 people from Haiti come here to work, they are interested in being here,” but added that “it’s difficult” to find employment opportunities.

Mexico’s asylum agency has been strained by soaring numbers of requests from Haitians, many of whom are not likely to be granted refugee status because they left Haiti for economic reasons.

Mexico issued visas to allow Central Americans to work and travel free of charge in 2019. However, the distribution was stopped by Donald Trump’s threat of trade tariffs against Mexico if the country did not stop the flow of migrants across the border.

Ebrard claimed that Blinken and he didn’t discuss “remain in Mexico,” one of Trump’s harshly criticized migration policies. This is something his successor Biden hopes to change. It forces those seeking asylum to cross the U.S.-Mexican frontier must wait in Mexico until their cases are heard.

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