- Title: Migrants returned to Mexico border city face dim Christmas in limbo
- Date: 24th December 2019
- Summary: CIUDAD JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO (DECEMBER 23, 2019) (REUTERS) MIGRANT FAMILIES AT SHELTER ON GROUNDS DURING CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS CHILD HITTING PINATA AT CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION AT SHELTER CHILDREN SINGING SONG THAT ACCOMPANIES HITTING OF PINATA, CHILDREN RUNNING FOR LOLLIES FAMILY AT SHELTER SIGN AT SHELTER CHILDREN AT SHELTER MOTHER AND CHILD AT SHELTER FAMILY AT SHELTER (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GUATEMALAN MIGRANT, MARIA CHAN IXCAMPARIJ, SAYING: "I fled my country with my baby. The only place I want to be is the United States. I never thought that I would be returned here to Juarez. I'm waiting to go to the United States with my baby, to give the best life to my son, so he can study." YOUTH AT SHELTER MIGRANT AT SHELTER TODDLER ON SHELTER GROUNDS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GUATEMALAN MIGRANT, ANA BELIA REYNOSO, SAYING: "I never thought that I would spend this Christmas and New Year here. My dream was to be there in the United States with my husband. But I wasn't allowed to cross. I was returned here to Mexico. I'm here and I've been given the date of May 5 (for asylum application to be heard)." CHILDREN AND VOLUNTEERS AT SHELTER YOUTH AT SHELTER (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GUATEMALAN MIGRANT, CECILIO LOPEZ, SAYING: "I'm sad because I really haven't been this far from my family before. Each year in Christmas I was with my children, eating beans. I came here with hope, for an opportunity in the United States but the reality is very difficult." CHRISTMAS TREE AT SHELTER MESS HALL AT SHELTER, WITH FOOD BEING DISBURSED TO MIGRANT FAMILIES VARIOUS OF MIGRANT FAMILIES EATING AT SHELTER (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SALVADORAN MIGRANT, WENDY, SAYING: "This is not easy, there's a sense of desperation, sometimes it hits you hard, quickly. But you have to be with your children, to weigh up the pros and cons, of returning to your country. If you have left your country because of threats, the lives of your children need to go first. And then everything else follows." FAMILIES AND VOLUNTEERS AT SHELTER MESS HALL CHRISTMAS TREE NEAR MIGRANT FAMILIES
- Embargoed: 7th January 2020 03:35
- Keywords: Central America Chihuhua Ciudad Juarez Mexico President Donald Trump USA border city migrants returned shelter
- Location: CIUDAD JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO
- City: CIUDAD JUAREZ, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001BBC3PL3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: No room at the inn. Migrant families returned to Mexico from the United States face a bleak Christmas, in limbo at the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez as they await a response to their asylum claims.
Tens of thousands of migrants, mostly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, have been returned to Mexico under a Trump administration policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) to await their U.S. immigration court hearings. And local organizations and church groups south of the border in Mexico try to bring some festive cheer to those families facing an uncertain future.
Maria Chan Ixcamparij traveled towards the United States from Guatemala with her son. Speaking to Reuters, the desperate mother told Reuters she just wants a better life for her son. Her case for asylum hits U.S. courts in March 2020.
Some migrants left their countries without their children, leaving them behind in the hope of being able to send money from the United States so as to keep loved ones out of poverty. Ana Belia Reynoso left Guatemala one year ago, with her husband in the United States and her son back home. She faces a bleak Christmas on her own.
But the reality for migrants like Maria and Ana Belia are grim. Mexico's border cities like Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, where migrants are returned to, have high murder rates, where gangs and drug cartels operate and migrants are kidnapped or robbed, activists report.
As the high-stakes immigration debate rages on in the United States and the wider region, these migrant families south of the border hope that 2020 can bring them some respite.
(Production: Jose Luis Gonzalez, Josue Gonzalez)
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