Mexican officials clean up a migrant camp on the Texas border

Mexican authorities have evacuated a makeshift migrant encampment in the northern border town of Reynosa, which had expanded over the past year to accommodate some 2,000 people, the Mexican Institute of Human Rights said on Tuesday. migrations (INM).

Many migrants, mainly from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti, were taken to a nearby shelter, INM said in a statement. Reynosa’s camp formed in March 2021 in a public square just across the US border from McAllen, Texas. Many people camping in tents or under tarps say they fled violence or persecution in their home country.

Footage released by INM showed migrants walking in a long line away from the camp on Monday evening, carrying suitcases, backpacks and other personal belongings. The INM said the people left around 11 p.m. under the surveillance of local police and the National Guard, a militarized police force. The Reynosa camp had worried migrant advocates because of its location in one of Mexico’s most dangerous border towns. In February, Mexican authorities also emptied a large migrant camp in the border city of Tijuana, where activists had criticized conditions.

These camps grew during the coronavirus pandemic after the administration of former US President Donald Trump implemented a health order turning back asylum seekers and other migrants at the border. President Joe Biden’s administration said in March it would end the measure by May 23 and officially announced the decision in April. Shortly after, a US judge temporarily halted authorities.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas discussed US strategy to prepare for the end of the policy with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard during a meeting in Washington on Tuesday, his office said. . Ebrard later said he still needed to see the full plan and warned that the end of Title 42 could spur more migration through Mexico.

The two men also discussed ways for the United States and Mexico to help regional efforts to manage borders and return migrants who are not eligible for humanitarian assistance, DHS said. Christa Cook, founder of US aid group Solidarity Engineering which provided clean water and toiletries to camp residents, said there were only 400 people left at the Reynosa camp as of Monday evening, including about 150 children.

Many migrants, including families with young children, had spent months living in the camp, which had grown to cover the entire square.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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