JUAREZ, Chihuahua — President Trump’s executive order barring migrants families from being separated at the border was welcome news to recent deportees and those preparing to cross illegally at a shelter here just miles from the Texas border, but they doubt any change in U.S. policy will forestall the migratory crush from Mexico and Central America each summer.
That’s how bad things are at home.
Israel Rojas, 32, was deported outside of Matamoros last week and arrived in Juarez on Wednesday, floral-pattern suitcase in tow. It was his fourth deportation. His next arrest for illegal entry could leave him in prison for 3-5 years.
Instead of risking it, he sent money to help his wife and four children moved from Virginia to El Paso, Texas. He’s looking for houses across the border, in Juarez, but worries about the violence. His family will visit him on weekends.
“Over here, you might not only see your children for a while, but at least you’ll reunite with them,” Rojas said. “Over there, you and your children are in risk of getting killed.”
While child separation was a horror, said Casa de Migrante shelter director Blanca Rivera, news of recent policy like Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” treatment of first-time border crossers hasn’t necessarily reached migrants in Central America en route to the U.S.
“Their willingness to migrate doesn’t change,” Rivera said. “They all
still have hopes and dreams in their minds, and they want to try and follow them no matter what.”
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