Attention to Migrants in Ciudad Juarez II
Migrants: Stories of the journey to Ciudad Juarez
Carlos Quevedue cmf
Fundador de «La Casa del Migrante»
From July 2019 until March 2021, Yulissa came fleeing a difficult situation in her home country of Guatemala. Her husband was assassinated, and she fled for her life with her two sons, one eight years old and the other ten. They formed part of the community of San Oscar Romero. She could find work, legal assistance, counseling, and education for her children. She also formed part of a knitting circle with other mothers. She crossed to continue her asylum process in March of 2021 after almost two years in the Remain in Mexico Protocol and as an active member of the San Oscar Romero shelter.
Ana, with her husband Sergio from El Salvador with their two sons… 11 and 15 …also came fleeing for their lives.. Their daughter came two years before with fear for her life and now resides studying and working in the northeast. They were part of the over thirty migrants who entered the Shelter initially under the Remain in Mexico Program. Children initially attended classes in a local school, and with the coming of the pandemia of Covid, 19 attended classes virtually within the Shelter with the use of tablets. In addition, weekly workshops related to legal assistance psycho-social well-being were offered weekly. In March of 2021, all those initial migrants continued their asylum process within the states alongside their families or sponsors.
Processes after March of 2021 focused on identifying vulnerable cases with the legal help of individual lawyers or organizations like…. HIAS…. Hebrew organization in support of migrants, COESPO… local government of the state of Chihuahua here in Mexico and Las Americas with legal help within the states.
Maria and her son of eight months, fleeing life-threatening violence with her husband, arrived in Mexico at the end of 2021. Her husband found work as a local barber but disappeared in Mexico and has not been seen or heard from since. So she and her son arrived at the Shelter and continued a process of asylum and search for her husband.
David and his wife Eli and their son, and his sister-in-law and her son came together fleeing life-threatening persecution and violence in Honduras. However, in the trajectory through Mexico were kidnapped and ransomed, tortured, beaten, the women raped in Mexico by corruption and organized crime. They were able to achieve humanitarian aid and assistance and finally arrived in the states to continue their asylum process.
Paco, young man from El Salvador here in the southern outskirts of Ciudad Juarez in the district of Rio Bravo was kidnapped, ransomed, and tortured by co ordination of organized crime and coyotes but was able to escape and found refuge in Albergue San Oscar Romero and was able to file legal denouncements of crimes committed and eventually was able to continue asylum process in the states.
Francois and his wife and four other companions from Haiti…fleeing violence in their homeland of Haiti… began a journey from Haiti to the Dominican Republic to Brazil and Chile for several years until they finally began a journey northward but risking their lives. They crossed several countries, subject to beatings, rape, and robberies, until finally arrived seeking asylum in the United States. Living outdoors, in parks but subject to assaults in this violent city of Juarez, they were finally able to continue their process of asylum crossing into the United States as vulnerable cases of exceptions to T-42 in June 2022.
Enrique, a young man, currently twenty years old from Nicaragua at 16, was beaten by Nicaraguan armed forces and fled across the border into Costa Rica. He survived difficult years in exile in Costa Rica with health concerns and ventured northward to seek asylum in the United States. He experienced assaults and robberies as he journeyed with others on the “Bestia”… northward train to the border in Juarez. He found security in San Oscar Romero Shelter and began to work and seek asylum under Remain in Mexico. He was assaulted by local police and robbed and was able to file legal papers for these crimes. He continues his process.
Ernesto, a young man from Cuba, had spent time in prison in Cuba as a political prisoner. He began a long journey through Central America to Mexico. He was subject to extortion, threats, and robbery. He eventually made his way to Juarez in the summer of 2021 and was able to continue his asylum process in the states through exceptions to Title 42 as a vulnerable case.
Beatriz and her young daughter came fleeing from violence and persecution in Honduras. Mother and brother’s sons were victims of assassinations by organized gangs, including the police. They finally reached the northern border and found Shelter in San Oscar Romero. Beatriz, came fleeing for her life and that of her young daughter, but she had no one to sponsor and receive her in the states. We were able to work in network with cross-border collaboration with the local parish in El Paso, Texas…. who welcomed her and sponsored her initially in close family support. Then, we sought further network collaboration in a northern city in the Midwest that provided her and her daughter with housing, food for five months, and legal accompaniment.
The journey continues, and the work as well here at Center of Attention to Migrants San Oscar Romero de las Americas. Currently, we house approximately 70 migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, and Colombia and problematic areas of Mexico like Michoacan and Guerrero. We offer holistic attention… education, formation, psycho-social, health, and legal. The stories continue, identifying their vulnerabilities and creating networks to respond to their needs in collaboration with many organizations with the help of Claretians, organizations like Jesuits Migrant Service, and an array of other organizations working in a transborder experience.
Carlos Quevedue cmf