Posted by hougansydney.com on Thursday, June 15, 2017 Under: Migration
In response to the US government 's refusal to grant asylum to Haitian migrants in the United States, thousands of them have decided to settle in the border cities of Tijuana and Baja California in Mexico.
"Since Donald Trump's presidency, Haitians have stopped crossing the border because they thought that if they crossed the border they would be deported to Haiti," said Wilner Metelus, chair of the Citizens' Committee for the Defense of the Naturalized and Afromexican (CCDNAM).
Given the new circumstances, the objective of Haitian migrants is to legally establish themselves in Mexico, by means of a humanitarian visa, since the refugee status has been denied to them by Mexican authorities.
However, "95% of the Haitian migrants who arrived in Mexico do not have a passport to obtain a humanitarian visa," he said. Most of them arrived on foot from Brazil following an ongoing economic crisis there.
At the moment, only 1.200 out of more than 10.000 Haitian migrants have formally applied for a humanitarian visa according to the Mexican authorities; However, immigration officials have only approved 700.
One of the limitations of the humanitarian visa is that it does not allow its bearer to open a bank account. Although it was affirmed that with this visa the migrants could make use of the medical service of the IMSS the reality is that when they come to request they are denied because they do not have insurance.
"There is no coordination between the Migration Institute and other institutions," added Metelus.
Even companies do not know if their legal status allows them to work or not, since there is no information as to whether they are allowed to work with their humanitarian visa.
"Many are working in some companies; and there are many young people, they want to study but in many schools they can not register, a foreigner who wants to enter a university must have a permit with a signature from the head of INAMI," he said.
"The Haitians have an ultimatum, September 30 is the last day for Haitians to legalize and in case they do not have the humanitarian visa the Mexican government says they will deport them," warned Metelus.
"Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, 95% of its budget depends on the international community, after 7 years that the earthquake has left 70,000 Haitians still living in the camps, it is time for solidarity of the Mexican government with the Haitian migrants, "he said.
"The Institue of National Migration (INAMI) is calling on the shelters to remove the Haitians because they are taking up space from the Mexican migrants deported," he said.
The support of the population towards the Haitians has ceased, nowadays shelters are not making donations of food or support the expense of light or water.
There are nearly 10,000 Haitians who are in the national territory although he affirmed that the authorities only recognize the 1.200 presence.
The committee count for the month of December last year was six thousand.
Although some have a humanitarian visa, it is difficult to obtain work mainly because of the language issue and there are also cases of abuse in that they do not receive benefits and legal guarantees when working.
With estimated salaries of 1,200 pesos it is difficult for them to survive and rent a house or apartment so if they are taken away from the shelter they will have to live on the street.
"A large part of the Haitian community is already working and the migrants we served are already living in the community in the central area," said the legal representative of the 2000 Hostel, José María García Lara.
Similarly, the Central American migrants who arrived a few weeks ago are relocating, some with the intention of crossing the United States and others with that of establishing themselves in the city.
In : Migration