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Mexican officers detain 652 migrants in vans close to US Border

MEXICO CITY — The majority of the youngsters have been unaccompanied by a mum or dad or authorized guardian, officers mentioned. Most of the migrants have been from Guatemala.

The three vans have been stopped at a navy checkpoint in Tamaulipas, a violence-riddled state bordering Texas. Despite the containers being sealed, immigration officers heard voices inside, federal authorities mentioned. Through an X-ray examination they discovered silhouettes inside. When they opened the containers, they discovered the migrants, hungry and thirsty.

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Four males who allegedly have been in control of the massive group have been detained by federal authorities and being interrogated by Mexican federal prosecutors.

The incident marks one of many greatest single detentions of migrants, a senior Mexican immigration official mentioned. In March, immigration authorities discovered 329 individuals in three vans. This yr, authorities detained teams of greater than 100 migrants not less than on 4 events.

Haitian migrants queue to register with the National Commission for Refugees (COMAR) in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico on October 6, 2021, in Mexico. - Many Haitian migrants that were originally heading to the US see Tijuana as an option for seeking asylum as they face stricter immigration controls by Mexican authorities in cities east of the US-Mexico border. (Photo by Guillermo Arias / AFP) (Photo by GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Haitian migrants queue to register with the National Commission for Refugees (COMAR) in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico on October 6, 2021, in Mexico. – Many Haitian migrants that have been initially heading to the US see Tijuana as an possibility for looking for asylum as they face stricter immigration controls by Mexican authorities in cities east of the US-Mexico border. (Photo by Guillermo Arias / AFP) (Photo by GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP by way of Getty Images)
(Photo by GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP by way of Getty Images)

“This has no precedent in recent years, as far as I can remember,” mentioned Luis Alberto Rodriguez, the safety spokesman of Tamaulipas state. He mentioned there have been kids as younger as 3 years outdated.

The arrest comes as apprehensions on the U.S.-Mexico border for the fiscal yr 2021 reached 1.47 million via August, U.S. Border Patrol numbers present, on monitor to breach the file of 1.64 million apprehensions in 2000. Fiscal years finish on Sept. 30.

Many of the migrants are coming from farther afield, together with tens of 1000’s of Haitians who fled the island nation years in the past, however at the moment are on the transfer once more, pushed out by tightening immigration restrictions in Chile and financial hardship from the pandemic.

Most migrants are fleeing poverty and unemployment amid the pandemic, excessive crime or political instability. They are moved by well-organized mafias, who management routes and infrequently bribe migration officers. Migrants typically pay 1000’s of {dollars} to get to the border.

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“[This] shows the sophistication of the human-smuggling networks operating in the region, their disregard for the safety and well-being of the migrants themselves and how they are able to take advantage of vulnerable and desperate people by offering them the chance to get to the U.S. border,” mentioned Maureen Meyer, an immigration professional on the Washington Office on Latin America.

On Friday, Mexican and U.S. officers headed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken met in Mexico City to agree on a brand new safety plan that features, as one precedence, cooperation on going after individuals smuggling throughout Mexico.

The migrants present in three vans in Tamaulipas have been despatched to shelters in Ciudad Victoria and Tampico. Children and households will likely be dealt with by the state social providers. Immigration authorities will determine whether or not they’re returned to their residence international locations.

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“The kids are calm. They are apparently unaware of the situation, of the hardships they are going through,” mentioned Rodriguez, the state official.

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