When the guards told them: “Go ahead”, they couldn’t figure out where they were or where they were going.
They walked across an unfamiliar bridge as instructed and then suddenly in Mexico. Or, to be more precise, go back to Mexico. But it was only 800 miles from where they arrived in the United States.
In the chaos on the southern border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents escorted immigrants across the bridge connecting downtown El Paso, Texas with the neighboring city of Juarez in Mexico, and deported them from the United States without even knowing it. what is this. occur.
A young mother happened to be sitting directly on the sidewalk on the Mexican side of the international bridge connecting the two cities, breastfeeding her breast-fed child in the cold weather in late March.
This child, not more than 1
Although the mother did not have her own coat, once, the woman covered the little girl’s hand with socks to prevent her from crying in the cold wind.
In Juarez, this scene is too familiar, where dozens of immigrants are unceremoniously deported from the United States through the Trump administration’s health agreement (known as “Question 42”) every day. Immigrants can be expelled here to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in bird flu. we.
Some undocumented people who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border are allowed to enter the U.S. to begin the asylum process, mainly unaccompanied minors, and-theoretically, parents with young children.
However, most adult immigrants and families currently arrested in the United States have been deported, although they were not usually deported before the confusing and tortuous journey by the U.S. authorities.
Joel Duarte Mendez, 25, originally set out from Honduras.
Reynosa is located at the eastern end of the Texas-Mexico border, 754 miles from the westernmost cities of Juárez and El Paso.
After crossing from Reynosa to Texas, Mendez and his two-year-old son Hector were briefly detained.
He pointed to the international bridge connecting El Paso and Ciudad Juarez and said: “Then they took us on the plane, and from there they put us on the bus, and then they threw us here.”
Mendes said the U.S. border agents lined up after getting off the vehicle, pulled them across the bridge, and then “tell us to’keep on’.
He held Hector tightly. The boy in the jacket was obviously a good fit for his father, who was enduring the cold T-shirt.
Mendes said: “I will come with my son to give him a better life.”
He said that their journey from Honduras to the border lasted 12 days. He owns a coffee farm and a house in Honduras, but both were destroyed when the hurricane hit the country in November last year.
It is believed that the climate crisis is triggering stronger hurricanes, and Mendes and Hector have actually become climate refugees.
He said that he used the remaining money to pay for the trip.
“We think they are allowing people under 5 with children to enter [the US], So I said, “This is my chance”, well, that’s not the case,” he told the Guardian in frustration.
Headline 42 is the last important element of Donald Trump’s anti-immigration agenda. The proposal almost closed the U.S.-Mexico border to everything undocumented in the pandemic.
Joe Biden’s administration cancelled Trump’s so-called “reserve in Mexico” policy, in which immigrants were forced to wait in Mexico’s often dangerous border towns, while their demands for asylum in violent countries It sometimes takes years to get processed in the United States.
But for those who have not yet initiated legal proceedings in the United States, Biden is still lingering in the epidemic, so continue to use title 42. Now, many cross-border personnel have not even been formally processed into border patrol or Department of Health and Human Services facilities, nor are they handed over to family members in various states to wait for appointments with immigration courts. They were just deported to Mexico.
Mendes and breastfeeding mothers are one of about three dozen immigrants. They are almost all parents with young children. The Guardian recently saw these immigrants being deported from the United States.
In Juarez, the Mexican authorities detained them in a quarantine area near the bridge and did not allow reporters to interview them.
But tears can be seen, and many eyes are confused. The last mother in the line had a little boy in her arms, and another child was walking in front of her. Both children were crying, and when she realized she was in Mexico, tears began to shed.
The group spent more than an hour in the quarantine area before it opened. Several families flooded the streets of Juarez and fended for themselves.
Those in contact in the area asked for directions to the taxi, or called someone to pick them up, but the others just sat on the street, unsure of the next move.
An unnamed father explained that since entering the United States briefly, they have never been told where they are or where they are going.
“We were there in the detention center waiting for them to contact our family. [in the US] So they can get us or dispatch for us, but no, they lie to us. “He said.
Another father said: “They were completely wrong to let us in with our children.”
There are conflicting reports on why migrants are transported from one end of the Texas border to the other, from reports that there are emergency shelters on both sides of the border, especially since Covid-19 restrictions have closed many or reduced traffic capacity This is just a cruel method to make them even more desperate to stop immigration.
Nearby, another family: three children huddled around their mother, father walking back and forth. He confirmed that they had not received any information from the agents who expelled them.
He said: “Imagine what we experienced when we arrived here from Honduras: walking, hitchhiking, feeling hungry, suffering with our children.”
“They took our photos, our fingerprints, let us stay for three days, and then sent us here without signatures.”
Mendes said he thinks things will be different during Biden’s administration.
He has a brother in Charlotte, North Carolina. When Mendes called him with bad news, he was always looking forward to picking him up with Hector.
Mendes said: “He condemned my journey.” “I told him I had no choice. I didn’t want us to starve.”
He is now trapped in Juárez (Juárez), thousands of miles away from his home, with no money to return.