Haitian migrants in Mexico border town get help from locals in plight for a better life
Ciudad Acuña has been a popular landing spot for migrants pushed away from the Del Rio Bridge.
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Days after the United States cleared thousands of Haitian migrants from the southern border in Del Rio, Texas, some of those migrants are discovering there are people out there that want to come to their aid.
According to the Associated Press, many of the Haitian migrants who remain in Mexico’s Ciudad Acuña are receiving help from citizens of the border town. Some are even providing them shelter by taking them into their own homes or finding an alternative. Others are offering hydration and nourishment to those who have stayed behind.
Virginia Salazar was one of the Mexican residents helping the Haitians. She has personal experience with the difficulty of their current situation. Her husband, Mensah Montant, is from Togo, a country in West Africa, who arrived in Mexico as a migrant nine years ago.
“I come from a family of migrants. This comes naturally to me,” Salazar told AP News.
An estimated 2,000 Haitians were deported over the last week. About 250 of them were transported to an event center in Ciudad Acuña, but the living conditions have been less than ideal.
Gerardo Ledesma, a Mexican pastor, delivered food to the migrants staying in the shelter.
He told NPR that he clearly sees the need, and that the authorities are not providing the support.
When Haitian families started arriving at the home of hairstylist Andrea Garcia, she helped shelter six of them in different homes that her family owns throughout the city.
“They arrived at my house alone, with their babies and asked for help. They said there was no place they could go,” Garcia told AP News.
After being turned away at the U.S. border, many Haitian migrants retreated into Mexico. Now, despite the personal risks, residents of Ciudad Acuña, Mexico are doing whatever they can to help – providing food, shelter, and water to Haitians hoping to stay. https://t.co/YLhlEbomYP— The Christian Science Monitor (@csmonitor) September 27, 2021
Helping these migrants does not come without risk for Ciudad Acuña residents.
Montant was on the way to deliver ice to 32-year-old migrant, Etlove Dorsicar, when Mexican immigration agents surrounded him at his home. Confused and shocked, he quickly showed the agents proof of his Mexican citizenship.
Montant and Salazar met Dorsicar when they were handing out food earlier in the week at a small encampment. When agents showed up at that camp, Dorsicar, his wife and their three-year-old daughter hid in the riverside brush until they could reach Montant’s home.
Fortunately, the couple was able to find a house where Dorsicar and his family could rent a room, a table and a fan for $50 a month.
“For the first time in days, I didn’t have to sleep with one eye open,” Dorsicar said.