The US Border Patrol expels more than 300 Cubans to the Mexican city of Reynosa

The US Border Patrol expels more than 300 Cubans to the Mexican city of Reynosa

“I’m through. I’m about to turn myself in.” This is how Yaniel de la Torre told her cousin, who lives in San Diego, by telephone. This Cuban originally from Camagüey tells 14ymedio who crossed the Rio Grande on May 12 on a raft through the border city of Reynosa to the Texas county of Hidalgo. “In Immigration they took my fingerprints, my name, they asked me for my things and after 11 hours detained, without arguments they returned me to Mexico.”

De la Torre is one of the more than 300 Cubans who are in the Senda de Vida I shelter, in Reynosa, waiting for a response to the asylum application that he submitted with the help of a lawyer who collaborates with the shelter. The first three days he spent in the place, because he “was afraid to go out and be deported.”

That’s where he left when the lawyer let him know that The US expelled him under Title 42 for an agreement reached with Mexico last April. De la Torre was told by the legal defender that “from the 27th they began to return the Cubans but that this will end on May 22.”

Pedro Rosillo is originally from Santiago de Cuba. He arrived on April 30 at the municipality of Miguel Alemán, in Reynosa, where he stayed until May 8. “On the 9th I stepped on US soil,” he tells this newspaper. “The Border Patrol stopped me with a group of 67 people and was separating the women who were traveling with children and the families, they took them in.”

Rosillo was taken to two prisons in Texas: “In one they took away my laces, my cell phone and they took my data, in the other I was there for a few hours and then they took me out to get on the bus and they said I had to go back to Mexico.” They returned it through the Reynosa-Hidalgo International Bridge. Since then he has stayed in one of the camping tents placed on a synthetic turf pitch at the shelter.

Figures from the Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published this Tuesday, point out that in April, 234,088 irregular migrants were detained on the southern border of the United States, 5.4% more than in the previous month. Of these, 35,049 are Cuban, which represents a record number.

The number is significant, in the last fifteen months the flight of Cubans reaches 145,389. The refugee index has grown since the arrival of Joe Biden to the US Government.

In the Senda de Vida I shelter there are Cubans who were separated from their children, as confirmed by the director of the shelter, Héctor Silva, to The morning. “They are being supported in a particular way” and while their situation is resolved they are given “food, lodging and advice.”

Silva has a database of beneficiaries of the Migrant Protection Protocols, in which the names of “at least 1,900 people on the waiting list, among whom are more Cubans,” appear.

Silva controls two shelters in Reynosa, but only in Senda de Vida I there are nationals from the Island and since last year it has become the way to avoid deportations. In September 2019 they managed to house 270 Cubans, although the space is limited.

In early May, Univision shared testimonials of several migrants from the Island who had also been returned by Title 42.

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