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‘I can’t live like this’: Haitian migrants run out of options, flee camp in Mexico

  • September 27, 2021

El Paso human rights advocates organize march supporting Haitian asylum-seekersMexican government cracks down on Haitian migrants in Ciudad Acuña

‘I’ll keep running’

The Mexico’s National Immigration Institute officials’ message Thursday came as yet another defeat for migrants who have been seeking a better life since they left Haiti years ago. 

Wely Jean had been thinking about the type of business he’d start and the type of jobs he could do in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico. 

He’d like to get a car and become a taxi driver. He could work delivering bottled and purified water to homes and businesses, he said. 

Drone photos: The latest look inside the Haitian migrant encampment in Del Rio, Texas

On Thursday, Jean’s hopes of having a better life than the one he left behind in Haiti more than three years ago, were lost once again. 

“We spent months in Tapachula. There are no jobs for us, we won’t be able to make it there, it’s not safe for us,” Jean said. “If they try to take me there I’ll keep running. But I can’t live like this anymore.”

Throughout the day Thursday, several migrants were not sure what they’d do next. 

Vickner Normil was overwhelmed by defeat, stress and humiliation from his experience this week. 

When they said police patrols drive into the park Thursday morning, everyone at the park worried and fear what would come next, he said. 

“We are left with nothing,” Normil said. “Nothing in Haiti, nothing here.” 

Ciudad Acuña residents also seeking answers 

Some Acuña residents who were at the park Thursday distributing food, clothing and water for Haitian migrant families, asked Mexican authorities why the city had not yet facilitated a temporary area where the migrant families could stay until they got on their feet. 

More:‘It could happen to us’: How Acuña families are helping Haitian migrants in need

“It’s so upsetting what’s happening to them,” said David Martinez, of Acuña, who helped migrants carry items across the Rio Grande Thursday. “How come the (Mexican) government allowed them to make it all the way up here, and now they want to turn them back. Why? That’s not OK. It’s an injustice for them to come from so far, suffering.” 

Austin American-Statesman reporter Natalia Contreras can be reached at 512-626-4036 or ncontreras@statesman.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook, @NataliaECG.

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