Venezuelans unite for survival in Juarez


A group of Venezuelan migrants show reporters a cardboard box on a dirt road north of Juarez, Mexico. so that I can sleep at night.

Juarez, Mexico (Border report) – A group of Venezuelan immigrants huddling in an alleyway north of Juarez overlooking the Rio Grande refuses to give up on the American Dream.

A cold and hungry group member tells a visiting Dutch TV crew about the 2,000-mile journey to the U.S.-Mexico border and how they survived for months in a foreign land.

“Brothers, we share everything. Omar, a Venezuelan national, said.

Some of Omar’s relatives were able to turn themselves in to U.S. immigration at the El Paso, Texas border wall. They were released on parole and notified to appear in immigration court when asked to begin what could be years of judicial proceedings. They are now in an East Coast city and starting a new life.

Omar learns that he must secure a sponsor in the United States and file an asylum application using a mobile phone app called CBP One. However, he has had problems using the app and, like other members of the group, wonders whether their previous expulsion from the United States under Title 42 Public Health Regulations will affect their application.

“Our family is not with us […] Almost everyone is there. I’m alone But right now, it’s my family that’s in this place,” Omar said, referring to the six migrants around him this week.

A block away, another group of Venezuelans were hastily washing the windshields of parked cars, hoping their drivers would share spare change.

Officials in Juarez told Border Report they are having trouble convincing many Venezuelans to sleep in shelters to protect themselves.

Migrants say it’s not that easy. Shelters near the Rio Grande are full. Their operators are only accepting women and children, they said.

Ervin, who is part of Omar’s group, showed reporters the location of a dirt alley where Venezuelans lie on cardboards and rags at night and cover themselves with donated blankets.

“It’s hard to sleep on the street,” he said. “And the police won’t leave you in peace.”

Over the past few weeks, Juárez authorities have urged Venezuelans to stay clear of intersections to avoid being run over by cars. They have also responded to complaints from some merchants in tourist areas.

Venezuelans may possibly move to another street corner, but will be replaced by new groups, said Santiago Gonzalez Reyes, head of Juarez’s human rights department.

There is also the problem of the city of Juarez one of the highest murder rates in the world and where immigrants are Targeted by smugglers and kidnappersaccording to U.S. Immigration Advocates.

Safety is one reason Venezuelans unite. Several groups were observed standing and walking in the streets of north Juarez this week.

Venezuelans say they will be happy to leave Juarez once the US opens up to them. In the meantime they say they are not going anywhere.

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