Hostels for migrants with many vacant rooms. Comedores populares with sober food. Soldiers patrolling the crosses where immigrant families sometimes asked for money.
In Ciudad Juárez and in other Mexican cities along the border, the story is very similar: instead of increasing, as the voters and defenders of the rights of the migrants warned, the number of people who try to enter the United States. The United States has slumped after a border restriction from the era of the pandemic came in May.
The unusual scenes of relative calm are derived from one series of actions that took the government of Joe Biden, such as demanding more crosses against illegal crosses, with the intention of reversing the growth of migrants that they are trying to get to the United States. united
But it is also the result of the duration of measures that Mexico has taken to spread the migrants from the agglomeration along the border, and which include transports to places in the interior of the country.
Mexico’s strategy reflects the operation of the country as an executor of the political migration policies of the United States, leading a menudo in a group and taking its own steps to control the border, that the cities of the north had problems to accommodate and eat large. number of people migrating. The harsh conditions attracted worldwide attention after a devastating fire in March in a migrant detention center in Ciudad Juárez, which left dozens dead.
The Mexican immigration authorities in Ciudad Juárez recently dismantled a camp of campaign stores installed after the fatal fire, which highlights the reduction of pressure in the border towns.
The place, which opened with 240 people in May, had only 80 people accommodated here this month after many migrants scheduled appointments with the EE border authorities. UU. in the ports of entry through a mobile application created this year.
Cristina Coronado, who operates a charity soup kitchen for migrants in the cathedral of Ciudad Juárez, located in the center of the city, said that the shelters in the zone were “almost empty” after the migrants obtained citations to another sheet of . the border or were taken by the Mexican authorities to different parts of the country. .
Even so, Coronado and other defenders of the immigrants warned that the calm may be momentary and that hundreds of migrants, mostly from Venezuela, Haiti and Central America, continue to arrive in Sur de México every day from Guatemala with the aim of heading to the north
“While the conditions of the countries of origin are not changing, while the people are leaving, there will be a point where they will again go to the saturated borders”, said Alejandra Macías Delgadillo, director of Asylum Access México, an organization in the end. de lucro que ayuda to the asylum seekers.
Queda por verso cuanto time mantendrá under the number of crosses will border the combination of EE’s policies. UU. y México, he added, but one thing is clear: “I don’t think it’s going to be a permanent thing.”
Currently, the US authorities have registered a sharp drop in the detentions of migrants for crossing the border illegally since ending the measure of public greeting known as Title 42, which prohibited the entry to the country to the majority of the undocumented persons.
At the end of June, the detentions of migrants began to increase in some parts of the border, but they were still considerably lower than in the spring. On June 29, the agents of the Border Patrol in the sector of El Paso, historically one of the additional areas, if found with 654 people who are trying to enter the United States illegally, compared to the casi 2,000 per day at the beginning of may
The measures implemented recently by the Biden administration include additional efforts, such as a five-year ban on entry to the United States for migrants caught once through their treatment of entering illegally, and improvements in the application designed to process asylum requests.
But the government of Mexico, that accepted immigrants no Mexicans deported from the United States before expiring the restriction of the era of the pandemic, also took measures that contributed to reduce the cross borders.
In addition to transporting by bus and plane the immigrants from the north of Mexico to other parts of the country, among them Chiapas, the state further up the country, the government introduced bureaucratic obstacles for the immigrants who intend to arrive at the border with the united states united
In the city of Tapachula, on the border on Mexico with Guatemala, close up the offices of migration, which were established to give temporary permits, which allowed the people to travel to the north.
The government of Mexico demanded mandate at a national level to stop issuing any document that allows migrants and refugees to return to the country. Including if prohibition the permits issued for humanitarian reasons and replaced by orders of expulsion, that the migrants have days to leave Mexico.
Los funcionadores pronto revirtieron or suavizaron are measures, but the groups of immigrants said their effect was clear. “Yo creo que la lógica es cansarlos”, said Eunice Rendón, coordinator of Agenda Migrante, a coalition of migrant defense groups. “Que se vayan desanimando and se regressen”.
Ciudad Juárez, which was one of the main points of departure to arrive in the United States, is now patrolled by hundreds of Mexican soldiers, apparently to suppress crime, but also refused the intentions of demanding order after one cat episode this year when hundreds of. migrants would try to cross the border for one bridge that leads to El Paso, Texas.
The large concentration of soldiers created a clear dispersion for the migrants, said Tonatiuh Guillén, former commissioner of the Instituto Nacional de Migración de México. “Sin opciones en México, ese es el mensaje”, said Guillén, emphasizing how the soldiers created an “environment of threat” for the migrants.
The migrants who are now deep in the interior of Mexico, blocked by all different obstacles, looking for options. In Ciudad de México, the capital, small groups of migrants stand in the streets that surround a square in the central part of the city.
Michael Fernando Poveda, 26 years old, who said that he was from Ecuador to escape the violence and the lack of work, two days in a store of campaña que dejó a Haitian migrant who planned to cross the United States. Citing the new challenges to cross the border, Poveda said: “No se sabe si vas a crossar o te vas quedar por ahi o te van a deportar”.
Despite the challenges faced by many migrants in Mexico, the country’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, tried to reframe the story and told reporters recently that Mexico was “preaching by example” to adopt humanitarian policies.
But political interests can also be part of the equation, analysts say.
The tighter focus on Mexico benefits the efforts of the Biden government to improve the border control of next year’s presidential elections in the United States.
At the same time, according to critics of the president of Mexico like Jorge Castañeda, former chancellor, the strategic protégé to López Obrador of Washington’s explicit questionings for internal measures that the groups of civil liberties considering anti-democratic, how to deal with obstructing the electoral institute of the country
A spokeswoman for the Instituto Nacional de Migración de México said officials were not available for comment.
Due to the improvements in the well-known application as CBP One, more immigrants who were arriving in the cities of the north of Mexico, they are easier to start the process of asking for asylum.
On June 30, the Department of National Security of the United States announced the increase of the citations through the application to 1450 per day, an increase of almost 50 percent since May 12, the day in which it was eliminated the. Title 42.
In Tijuana, Enrique Lucero, manager of the city’s migration office, said that the migrants in shelters and hotels are using the application instead of trying to climb the double-capacity wall of maple that separates the city from San Diego. .
“La gente está obteniendo citas faster than antes because there are more available”, he said.
The situation in Tijuana, added Lucero, was “completely calm” and had “a lot of space for the migrants in the albergues”.
In mid-June, 1603 migrants were under the guard of the EE Border Patrol. UU. in the sector of El Paso, according to internal data obtained by The New York Times, in comparison with the 5000 to 6000 days before the final of title 42.
But the factors that caused millions of migrants to leave their homes in Latin America destined for the United States, including violence and economic difficulties, have not changed.
Diego Piña López, associate director of Casa Alitas, a network of albergues in Tucson, Arizona, said that the albergues were receiving a large number of Mexican asylum seekers. Many were put out by the violence in states like Michoacán and Guerrero, where drug cartels took control of towns and cities.
In fact, along the Arizona border, illegal crossings are on the rise. Border agents in the Tucson sector made 7,010 arrests the week that ended June 30, compared to 4,290 the week that ended June 2.
Much further to the south, the number of migrants who traveled through the Tapón del Darién, one brutal cross of the jungle, which one Central America com América del Sur, if ha lacked this year, more than 200,000 until the 5th of July, in comparison. with less than 50,000 immigrants during the same period of last year, according to the government of Panama.
Maureen Meyers, vice president of programs of the Oficina de Washington para América Latina, who visited the border between Guatemala and Mexico in mid-June, said that it was too early to know if there would be a long-term reduction in migration flows.
He commented that his team was observing Mexican immigration officials who were transporting Guatemalans and other migrants back to Guatemala, while transporting others to other parts of Mexico.
“Hay mucho movimiento de personas y nadie tiene una idea clara de lo que pasa”, he said.
Although the main border cities such as Ciudad Juárez and Tijuana are relatively quiet, the hot spots persist. In Matamoros, Tamaulipas, on the other side of Brownsville, Texas, where there are not many refuges, the migrants rest in an open-air camp.
Matamoros, said Glady Cañas, who directs a non-profit organization that helps the migrants in the camp, is not prepared for the situation, and added that they do not have the resources to help them.
Collaborate with reportería @Edyra Espriella in Matamoros, México; Rocío Gallegos in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico; and Juan de Dios García Davis in Tapachula, Mexico.
Simon Romero is a correspondent national and coverer of the Southwest of the United States. He has been head of the Times correspondents in Brazil, the Andes and international energy correspondent. More from Simon Romero.
Miriam Jordan is corresponding in the National Department. Cover the effect of the migration in the society, the culture and the economy of the United States. Before joining the Times, immigration for more than a decade in the Wall Street Journal and was a correspondent in Brazil, Israel, Hong Kong and India. More from Miriam Jordan.
Emiliano Rodríguez Mega is an investigative reporter for the Times in Mexico City. Cover Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. More from Emiliano Rodríguez Mega.