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EE. UU. debe adoptar nuevo enfoque en la frontera con México

Video muestra que familia separada por política de Trump ahora podría tener esperanzas

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J: I told my husband they were going to separate us...

JULIZA: That’s right, open your mouth. The river wasn’t good. It wasn’t deep, but it was pretty wide.

VO: This is Juliza, she’s from El Salvador.

JULIZA: I’m afraid of worms… I remember, I told my husband, “Take off your shoes, I’m going to get on your back!” And he was like, “No, I’m afraid I’m going to drop you!” Because in the river there are slippery rocks. I took off my shoes, rolled up my socks, rolled up my pants to my knees and I told him, “Let’s go.” 

VO:  Juliza and her husband, Alejandro fled El Salvador after gang members threatened their lives.  Alejandro said he’s terrified to ever return:

ALEJANDRO: We’ve seen cases where people returned and they only lasted a day. The next day they were killed or disappeared.

VO:They arrived at the US border in 2019, under the administration of then President, Donald Trump. They immediately turned themselves in.

ALEJANDRO: The first officer did our paperwork, and then they checked it. Another officer approached us and asked what we were doing.  He said, “I can tell you right now, you are not going to get through.” They kept [Juliza] there, and put me in a cell. 

CLARA: How far along was she at this time?

ALEJANDRO: 8 months.

JULIZA: I asked the cop, “Why are you only processing me, I came with my husband.” He said,  “No, your husband is going to stay here. Be thankful to God that you are going that way.”

This is when I learned that they were sending families back to Mexico.

News Clip: The Trump administration implemented it’s Remain in Mexico policy, more officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, forcing asylum seekers to wait indefinitely in Mexico...

VO: Under Remain in Mexico, the US forced more than 70,000 asylum seekers to wait across the border while their cases were processed. They were returned to some of the most dangerous cities in Mexico.

JULIZA: I asked the officer if I could say goodbye to my husband, 

just to speak to him. And the officer said no. 

“You are not going to see your husband anymore.”

VO: Like so many other families, Juliza and Alejandro were separated at the border.

VO: Now, the administration of President Joe Biden has made big promises to undo the policies that have caused so much harm. The future of so many people is at stake.

VO: Juliza came here to Iowa City after she was sponsored by the Catholic Worker Community, one of many faith groups ready to welcome asylum seekers. She’s strong, sincere, and funny. I was 8 months pregnant when I first met her. Family means everything to both of us. Juliza lives here at the Catholic Worker House, where volunteers are helping her build a new life. She’s grateful but afraid. Her husband is almost two thousand miles away, and he’s not safe.

VO:  While Juliza waited and prayed for her husband’s safety, her asylum case moves forward.

 VO: I joined her for a second check-in with ICE. This team of volunteers came to support her.

In the meantime, Alejandro’s case stalled and he’s still at risk in Mexico.  He stays indoors and out of sight as much as possible, afraid of the danger that lies outside.  

CWC: Heavenly Father, we thank you for this day….

JULIZA: It was really tough to give birth here and without the support of my husband.

JULIZA: And to this day, we don’t know if he is going to get permission to come over.

Alejandro met his son only once, when he came to a courthouse in Texas for his asylum hearing.

JULIZA: We had the opportunity [when our son was] 4.5 months old to go to El Paso. And for him to meet our son…for 15 minutes.

Juliza: He cried like he was never going to see him again. I knew the goodbye was going to be hard but I have to be strong for my son, here. 

ALEJANDRO: I can’t go back [to El Salvador].

And I can’t stop fighting

because I want to be with him

to watch him grow up.

But right now, I can’t.

VO: Just a few months after we filmed Alejandro, he was kidnapped for ransom.

“If I don’t pay the $1000 they are going to kill me.”

“I have already seen them kill people.”

Kidnapping has become the norm for asylum seekers waiting in Mexico.

Juliza was terrified. She didn’t know if she’d ever see him again.

After three months, and severe abuse at the hands of his kidnappers, Alejandro was released.

Now, after nearly two years of being apart, Alejandro and Juliza have a reason to be hopeful again.

President Biden is beginning to allow some asylum seekers with pending cases, about a third of the 70,000, into the United States.  

But what will happen to the others?

But there’s still so much uncertainty.

When will Alejandro be allowed in?

When will his family be together again? 

The pain people have gone through can’t be undone, but transforming the US asylum system into one that treats everyone with empathy, dignity, and respect will mean that families stay together and people fleeing danger are welcome. 

(Iowa) – El gobierno del presidente de Estados Unidos Joe Biden debe actuar sin demora para asegurar un trato justo, digno y humano a los solicitantes de asilo y migrantes en la frontera, señalaron Human Rights Watch e Iowa City Catholic Worker en un video que se difundió hoy. En el video se muestra a una familia que sigue estando separada luego de casi dos años en el marco del programa de “Permanencia en México”, también conocido como Protocolos de Protección de Migrantes (PPM).

El gobierno del expresidente Donald Trump envió a más de 71.000 solicitantes de asilo de regreso a México en virtud de los PPM, adoptado en 2019. El presidente Biden puso fin a estos retornos el mes pasado. Algunos solicitantes de asilo que fueron enviados a México mientras esperan el trámite de sus casos activos en los tribunales inmigratorios podrían inscribirse para iniciar un proceso que les permita ingresar en EE. UU. a partir del 19 de febrero de 2021, según se indica en un anuncio del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional.

El nuevo video sigue las vivencias de una familia procedente de El Salvador —Alejandro, Juliza y su pequeño hijo Anderson— que fue separada en la frontera en 2019. Los funcionarios estadounidenses obligaron a Alejandro a esperar en México mientras Juliza, que entonces llevaba ocho meses de embarazo, siguió camino sola para pedir asilo en Estados Unidos, donde la recibió Iowa City Catholic Worker, una organización afiliada a Gamaliel. Al ser enviado de regreso a una de las ciudades más peligrosas de México, Alejandro fue secuestrado y sufrió abusos, una experiencia ya muy habitual para los migrantes y solicitantes de asilo en México.

“Las comunidades religiosas han llevado a cabo un trabajo crucial para apoyar a solicitantes de asilo y mantener juntas a las familias, pero esa tarea no debería depender solo de ellas”, expresó Victoria Strang, defensora de comunidades religiosas de Human Rights Watch. “Aunque el gobierno de Biden ha dado algunos pasos positivos, se requieren medidas contundentes para transformar la respuesta en la frontera de EE. UU. en una que trate con dignidad a todos los solicitantes de asilo”.

Ahora que se ha anunciado un proceso para que algunos solicitantes de asilo en México ingresen en Estados Unidos, Alejandro y Juliza tienen razones para albergar la esperanza de volver a estar juntos pronto. Sin embargo, el gobierno de Biden solo ha prometido permitir que vuelvan a ingresar cerca de un tercio de quienes antes estuvieron afectados por un PPM, y sigue adelante con las expulsiones sumarias de solicitantes de asilo sin garantías de debido proceso conforme a una orden de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC) que se adoptó a instancias de la Casa Blanca durante la presidencia de Trump, pese a las objeciones que plantearon en ese momento funcionarios de salud pública de carrera. 

“Rezo para que a Alejandro y a todos los refugiados que ahora están atrapados en México se les permita entrar en Estados Unidos para plantear sus pedidos de asilo y reunirse con sus familias, e insto al Presidente a que los proteja”, expresó el padre Guillermo Trevino, Jr., un sacerdote católico de West Liberty, Iowa. “Iowa City Catholic Workers mantiene el compromiso de construir un mundo mejor donde se respete la dignidad que Dios concedió a todos los humanos, con independencia del color de su piel o su situación migratoria”.

El gobierno de Biden debe implementar un nuevo enfoque en la frontera que brinde a los solicitantes de asilo un trato justo, eficiente y respetuoso con derechos que apoyen la salud pública. Eso implica poner fin a las expulsiones  y los retornos sumarios, priorizar un sistema de acogida humanitario, brindar recursos suficientes y establecer reformas estructurales para que los pedidos de asilo se tramiten en forma justa y eficiente, y actuar con rapidez para terminar con la impunidad en los organismos, apuntó Human Rights Watch.


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