The United States has been expelling Venezuelans to Tijuana and four other Mexican border cities since Wednesday, said Jeremy McGillivray, deputy director of the United Nations International Organization for Migration in Mexico. The others are Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Piedras Negras and Matamoros.
Reverend Francisco Gallardo, director of the shelter, said Casa del Migrant in Matamoros received at least 120 Venezuelans from Brownsville on Thursday.
On Friday, the Mexican government offered free bus trips to Mexico City.
Venezuelans have become the second largest nationality on the US border after the Mexicans, a tough challenge for President Biden. In August, nearly four out of five arrested by US authorities in or near Eagle Pass, Texas, across from Piedras Negras, a Mexican city of about 150,000 people with little space for shelters, entered Negras. .
“We are on the verge of collapse,” said Edgar Rodriguez Izquierdo, a lawyer for Casa del Migrante in Piedras Negras, which feeds 500 people a day and turns a school into a shelter for 150 people.
US changes policy to accept Venezuelans at border with Mexico
Tijuana, where García Lara operates the Juventud 2000 refuge, is the largest city on the Mexican border, and perhaps the largest. The city says 26 shelters, operating near or at full capacity, can accommodate about 4,500 migrants combined.
Tijuana’s largest shelter, Embajadores de Jesús, houses 1,400 immigrants in bunk beds, while a group affiliated with the University of California, San Diego is building a high-rise annex for thousands more.
Mexico’s foreign ministry has said it will temporarily accept “some” Venezuelans who have been expelled from the United States under a public health system known as Title 42, without indicating a numerical limit.
A Mexican official said Mexico’s ability to receive Venezuelans depends on the size of the shelter and the success of the US offer of temporary residence for up to 24,000 Venezuelans.
So far, Mexico has only accepted returns from Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador, in addition to Mexico. As a result, Mexican shelters were filled with immigrants from those countries, along with Haitians.
Strained diplomatic relations made it nearly impossible for the Biden administration to bring them back to Venezuela. Blas Nunez Neto, a senior official with the US Department of Homeland Security, did not respond directly when reporters asked him how many Venezuelans could be deported to Mexico. He only said he hoped fewer would try to cross the border.
“Future teen idol. Hardcore twitter trailblazer. Infuriatingly humble travel evangelist.”