Illegal immigrants from Africa and other nations are using government-issued transit visas to get into the U.S.
As many as 424 Africans got into Chiapas State in Southern Mexico, bordering Guatemala, within two days, according to the Associated Press. The Africans are hoping to get asylum at a port of entry into the U.S. while some may end up illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Mexican transit visas are valid for 20 days, which is thought to be sufficient time for illegal immigrants to reach the Rio Grande Valley, KRGV-ABC 5 News reports. The Texas border town of San Benito is facing the many logistical challenges involved with high-volume migration at its La Posada Providencia Shelter.
The shelter was founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1989. Sister Zita Telkamp told KRGV-ABC 5 News that migrants call her shelter home for months at a time and that, “We serve people, more than 8,500 in our 27 years here. From about 80 different countries.”
Forty-five Haitians out of 52 people on a bus that broke down in Tijuana, lied to U.S. authorities, claiming to be African, according to nonpartisan think tank Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). The Haitians believed they were more likely to get asylum by the U.S. if they pretend to be from Africa.
Illegal immigrants looking to claim asylum as refugees are meant to file their claim in the country they first travel to from their home country according to CIS. By not having African refugees settle in Brazil, Mexico, or Ecuador, these countries are in violation of the United Nations International Convention on the Treatment of Refugees.
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