In Arizona, the hope for many migrants lies in a breach of the wall


HAVEStunned by the hot sun and her trip in the Arizona desert, Gladys Martinez can barely speak as she finally sets foot on American soil after crossing a hole in the wall that separates the United States from Mexico in Yuma.

“We come to ask for asylum,” this Honduran says in a trembling voice, showing pictures showing the disfigured face of her murdered daughter, according to her.

Despite “Title 42”, a health measure activated during the pandemic by former President Donald Trump’s government that allows migrants to be deported without visas on the spot, dozens of people march every day like Gladys at one of the brides on this line this boundary wall in Arizona.

She says she has traveled more than 4,000 kilometers from her hometown in Honduras, some of them on foot, with only documents in a small bag and clothes on her back.

“Look! Look! They killed my daughter, they strangled her,” Gladys exclaims, explaining that she wants to seek refuge in the United States for fear of being killed in shifts.

Many of the migrants arriving at the southern border of the United States are from Central America and arrive with troublesome stories of violence and murder from gangs or other armed groups.

Many come up the high wall that runs through the desert and hills that separate Mexico and the United States, all the way to the troubled waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Others manage, by their own means or through smugglers, this breach of Yuma.

On condition of anonymity, police officers explain to AFP that a gate was to be built to provide access to a water reservoir located on the Mexican side, but that work was stopped after the election of Joe Biden as president.

“We do not like questions”

On the Mexican side, a road runs along the wall, midway between dunes and scrub.

Often, a vehicle parks on the side of the road and brings migrants down grabbing their meager belongings.

Then men or women lead them along sandy paths toward the United States.

“Everyone has their own way and they don’t like someone else taking them,” says a man leaning against his car in the shade of a tree. He calls himself a trader, but quickly warns: “We do not like people asking questions here”.

“I’m the boss here, if I tell him to make you disappear, he’s making you disappear,” he adds, pointing to a silent young man standing by his side.

Migrants getting out of cars rush to the wall and their guides return shortly after to leave as they arrived.

On the American side, migrants are met when they leave the breakthrough by border police officers, who offer them water, ask them if they are armed, where they come from, if they have papers …

Miguel, who came from Peru, is accompanied by his daughters and his wife, who has a bloody head wound. “Someone threw a stone at her,” he explains as she is being treated by American nurses.

“They probably took someone’s way,” a police officer commented a little later.

The few migrants who were fortunate enough to escape border guards left a pile of packages of biscuits, plastic bottles and plane tickets torn to pieces.

“They want to travel as easily as possible,” the policeman explains.

And those who are taken? It’s a safe bet that they’ll be expelled under “Title 42” and that they will try their luck again as soon as they can.

Because if the measure, upheld on Friday by a federal judge despite the government’s desire to repeal it, does not allow any legal application, even for those who want to file an asylum application, it also has no legal consequences …

The Biden government has announced its decision to appeal this ruling.

“Americans can party in Mexico without wearing masks or getting vaccinated, but people who want to seek asylum are left in limbo and told they can not enter the United States because of Covid,” he said. with Dulce Garcia, from NGO Border Angels.

22/05/2022 08:09:43 – Yuma (USA) (AFP) – © 2022 AFP

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