Migrants walk north from southern Mexico in protest

TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — Some 2,000 mostly Venezuelan migrants streamed out of this southern Mexican city early Friday to pressure authorities to allow them to continue toward the U.S. border at a time when the focus is on immigration.

The latest major public outing of migrants from Tapachula follows the discovery of an abandoned semi in San Antonio with more than 60 migrants inside. Fifty-three of them died in the failed smuggling attempt.

It also comes a day after the US Supreme Court ruled that the Biden administration was right to end a controversial Trump-era policy that forced some asylum seekers to wait for their cases in Mexico.

After other mass movements of migrants from Tapachula last month, the Mexican government quickly negotiated to give them temporary documents.

“One hundred percent we are going in honor of the migrants who have died, because we all know that it is no secret to anyone that (the victims of Texas) were also fighting for a future like ours,” said Jonatan Ávila, a migrant from Venezuela. that he helped organize the others.

Many migrants no longer tolerate Mexico’s strategy of confining them south, away from the US border. They complain that the process of regularizing their status, usually by applying for asylum, takes too long and with limited work available, they cannot afford to wait.

Dozens of National Guard troops watched them walk without intervening.

Doris Perdomo, another Venezuelan migrant traveling with her two young children, referred to Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling, saying she had news, which was false, that US President Joe Biden would allow the entry of all migrants to the United States.

“Yesterday it was in the news that Biden gave free passage, that he is not going to return any migrant,” said Perdomo, who had been in Tapachula for a month trying to get papers.

However, the court’s ruling was expected to have little immediate impact because the Biden administration had rarely applied the so-called Remain in Mexico policy during its presidency.

Another Trump-era policy that remains in place and was not affected by Thursday’s ruling allows the administration to quickly expel migrants without the ability to apply for asylum, bypassing US law and an international treaty, on the grounds of containing the spread of COVID-19. . There have been more than 2 million evictions since the pandemic-era rule, known as the Title 42 authority, was introduced in March 2020.

While migrant caravans have garnered media attention, the migrants who ride in them represent a small fraction of the migratory flow that brings people to the US border every day, often with the help of smugglers. .


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