Some 400 Venezuelan migrants were evicted Sunday from the camp they set up on the banks of the Rio Bravo in Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez (north), bordering the United States.
“They arrived with a megaphone saying that we had to leave, that we had to leave by force, and later they broke the tents, they broke the tents of some comrades,” said Michael, one of the migrants from the South American country
Dozens of anti-riot police and members of the National Guard took part in the operation, who struggled at times with the migrants, who had been occupying the tents since the end of October.
The local government argued that the operation was in response to a Civil Protection report, which warned of the risk of fire from the bonfires that the migrants light in the low temperatures near their plastic tents.
The government of Ciudad Juarez said in the statement that “about 500 migrants were transferred to different shelters in the city”, but the local office of the State Population Council said that only 70 agreed to go to two shelters, while the rest went to hotels, and some were relocated in other parts of the city in the open.
The operation comes after the United States lifted an immigration restriction.
On November 15, U.S. Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that Title 42, applied since Donald Trump’s administration as an anti-covid measure, was used against migrants in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner to block their asylum applications.
At the request of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the same judge then granted Joe Biden’s administration five weeks to prepare for a feared flood of migrants, the vast majority of whom are Latin American.
The ruling will take effect at midnight on December 21.
The number of Venezuelans, Cubans or Nicaraguans attempting to cross the U.S. land border has increased 149% over October 2021, while those from Mexico and northern Central America has dropped 12% since that date, according to official data.