The National Immigration Institute (INM) has detained 300 Central Americans in Durango so far this year, all of whom were migrants travelling to the United States, and an increasing proportion of them were unaccompanied minors.
The number of minors is up by early 30% over last year, and an estimated half of them have been “rescued” in the state’s Comarca Lagunera region.
“Many of the children have said they are on their way to meet relatives; they’ve got the notion that if they’re minors they can get their documents in order more easily,” said INM representative Arnulfo León Campos.
But there remains no guarantee they will be allowed to enter the U.S., he noted.
Even individuals carrying humanitarian visas encounter difficulties at the border and have not been allowed to cross, he said.
The INM’s main concern is the risks to which minors are exposed — human trafficking, labor or sexual exploitation, or organ harvesting — by travelling on their own, León said.
Given the sheer number of unaccompanied minors rescued by the INM, León said, the institute has implemented a special procedure called “assisted return,” which provides children with shelter at DIF family services facilities.
The institute has detected two main routes taken by migrants on their northbound odyssey: federal highway 45 between the cities of Fresnillo, Zacatecas, and Parral, Chihuahua.
The second and most-used route is federal highway 49 from Fresnillo to the Comarca Lagunera city of Gómez Palacio.
After the migrants have been taken into custody, they go back home.
“We make sure they arrive safe and sound at their places of origin,” said the INM official.
Source: Milenio (sp)