Thousands of African migrants stuck in limbo in southern Mexico border.
The African migrants have made a perilous journey of thousands of kilometres up through Latin America in the hope of reaching the United States. Some of them even die during the arduous voyage before reaching their dream destination in the U.S.
According to Al Jazeera News, Mexican officials stopped them after coming under pressure from Washington to stem the flow of migrants and asylum seekers.
Mexico is offering them the chance of asylum. But that process is long and unpredictable. In Tapachula, the queue for applicants is very long.
“Look at the conditions here it rains every day, we camped in the midst of the water, the authorities haven’t told us anything. We are being dehumanised,” said Pablo an African migrant, also the camp leader as he told Al Jazeera.
They have a dream of a life in the United States or Canada. Some of them are even hoping to bring their family members there, with time. Yet, for now, hundreds of African migrants stay in limbo in Mexican border towns.
Many of them come from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cameroon, or Eritrea, countries that have been affected by spiralling violence and inner conflicts.
Since the routes to Europe have become more dangerous and some even impossible to cross, smugglers have also searched for different options.
African migrants who are now in Mexico took off from their countries and many arrived in Ecuador or Brazil as their jumping-off point. Afterwards, men, children, and women including pregnant ones crossed various borders, only to be halted in Mexico’s southern border with the USA.
At the end of August, African migrants protested for several days in front of the offices of the National Institute for Migration in Tapachula at the southern border of Mexico and Guatemala. The agreement between the U.S. and Mexico from June that the latter would slow down the flow of migrants towards its northern border has not affected Central American migrants only, but Africans too.
They said they felt stuck because of Mexico’s willingness to bow to Trump. During the first months of the year, Africans were allowed to move through Mexico by the immigration officers. In June, the situation changed. Because the repatriation costs are high, the limbo state has become their destiny, for now.
While blaming the Mexican government for pleasing Trump, according to the Guardian, many migrants coming from Africa do not want to apply for asylum in Mexico itself. They expressed that the country was not safe and they also mentioned the language barrier as discouraging.
In search of a safe and peaceful place, many see the U.S. as their only option. Some prefer Canada because of the politics of President Donald Trump.
Many people on the African continent are willing to cross the ocean and other unknown countries to reach their dream and flee their current lives.