Migrants on the march. Migrants on the march.

Migrants march north to protest policies

Mexican refugee process accused of being racist, elitist and discriminatory

A group of just five Central American migrants crossed the Mexico-Guatemala border last Sunday to begin a protest march that will follow the well-trodden northward route to the United States border.

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But by Monday, the Viacrucis del Migrante, or the Migrants’ Way of the Cross, had swelled to close to 100 people when it gathered at the headquarters of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (Comar), in the border town of Tapachula, Chiapas.

There, the migrants accused the agency, which operates under the Interior Secretariat, of denying refugee status to most applicants and demanded a more streamlined request process.

“They make [migrants] stay here for four or five months, suffering from hunger, having to line up under this sun, and in the end they almost always tell them their refugee application has been rejected,” said Cristóbal Sánchez, a spokesman for the protest march and leader of the non-governmental organization Movimiento Cultura Migrante, or Migrant Culture Movement.

Sánchez said Mexico’s immigration policy responds to the interest of the U.S., and charged that Comar’s approval selection criteria is racist, elitist and discriminatory.

“We’re here to say to Comar that we disagree with its immigration policy, and that as Mexicans we’re ashamed of these institutions,” he declared, extending an apology on behalf of Mexicans to the migrants for the hardships they have to deal with.

On Tuesday, the march went through the customs and immigration checkpoint at Cerro Gordo, in the municipality of Huixtla.

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On a normal day this is where a migrant’s journey northward journey ends but on this occasion none of the protesters was apprehended.

“To go through this immigration checkpoint without an arrest is an act of protest for us,” Sánchez told the newspaper Reforma.

“Most of the migrants coming with us are seeking refuge in Mexico, fleeing from the violence and terror of gangs [in their home countries],” he said.

Sánchez said that when the march reaches the country’s capital it will demand that the federal government put a stop to its Programa Frontera Sur, or southern border plan, adopted on July 2014 under pressure from the U.S. government.

The protesters will also demand that the government recognize the migratory crisis caused by violence in countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

Sánchez called on the Mexican government to respect the migrants’ right to choose where to live, and to allow them freedom of transit in Mexico.

The Migrants’ Way of the Cross is expected to arrive in the Isthmus region of the state of Oaxaca today, where it will spend three days before continuing to Medias Aguas, Veracruz.

The organizers expect the protest march to conclude in 10 days’ time in San Diego, California.

Source: Reforma (sp), Quadratín (sp)

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  • cooncats

    This is pretty rich. Talk about poetic justice. However, these poor folks will soon find out that Mexico is a great deal less accommodating than those north of the border folks they like to bitch at, and abuse, constantly.

  • SickofLiberalbs9999

    How about sealing the southern border of Mexico?
    No more “migrants” traveling north, problem solved.
    That was easy, wasn’t it?

  • SickofLiberalbs9999

    ” respect the migrants’ right to choose where to live”
    These poor people are obviously uneducated, and just plain stupid.
    We don’t have the “right” the live anywhere we want to – where did this ridiculous idea originate?

  • SickofLiberalbs9999

    “A group of just five Central American migrants crossed the Mexico-Guatemala border last Sunday”

    How did they cross the border?
    Are they Mexican citizens?
    If not, why were they allowed into Mexico?
    They are viloating Mexico’s immigration laws – why no enforcement?

    • Paul Beith

      Mexico has much less violence than the countries the refugees come from.

      • SickofLiberalbs9999

        They would be better off crossing the US border and taking their chances there.
        They might have some type of political amnesty available to them because of their circumstances.
        Poor migrant refugees hardly have a track record of security and prosperity after arrival in Mexico.

        • Farmer_Girl

          No, not welcome in America. They can head on up to Canada and ask to stay. We will be deporting large numbers back to Central and South America as soon as Trump’s deportation force is complete.

          • At present there is an amnesty in Mexico for all foreigners that have been illegally living since before January 1, 2017 until Jan. 1, 2018. My firm has been assisting foreigners to legalize their status. We are working pro bono for those without resources. To date most of the persons taking advantage of this temporary decree are Haitians and a few US and Canadian nationals.

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