“What they are asking for is to be allowed to cross Mexico freely to the United States,” Ebrard said.
Two Mexican federal officials, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, confirmed Mexico’s actions.
One of the officials said three buses full of migrants left Acuña on Tuesday morning for Piedras Negras, about 90 kilometers from the border, where they boarded a flight to the southern town of Villahermosa, in the state of Tabasco. .
The other official said there was a flight on Monday between the city of Monterrey in the north and the town of Tapachula in the south, near the Guatemalan border. Tapachula is home to the largest immigration detention center in Latin America. The flight was carrying around 100 migrants who had been picked up around the Monterrey bus station, a hub for various routes north of the US border.
The second official said the plan was to move all Haitians who had previously applied for asylum in Mexico to Tapachula, as most of them have reportedly applied for asylum in Tapachula and they can only legally stay in Mexico for the treatment of their case if they stay in the south. .
Haitian migrants who are already in detention centers in Mexico and have not sought asylum will be the first to be transported directly to Haiti once Mexico begins these flights, according to the official.
Around Ciudad Acuña, Mexican authorities are redoubling their efforts to keep migrants away from the border. There have been overnight detentions by immigration officials and raids on hotels known to house migrants.
“All of a sudden they knocked on the door and (yelled) ‘immigration’, ‘police’, as if they were looking for drug traffickers,” said Freddy Register, a 37-year-old Venezuelan staying in a hotel. with his Haitian. wife, Vedette Dollard. The couple were surprised at midnight.
Authorities took away four people and others who were outside the hotel, he said. “They took our phones to investigate and took us to immigration offices, took our photos,” Registry said. They were held overnight but were eventually returned to their phones and released. The authorities gave them two options: leave Mexico or return to Tapachula.
Tuesday afternoon, they decided to leave town. They bought tickets for a bus ride to the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, planning to continue to Tapachula where they had previously applied for asylum.
Others left without being told. Small groups arrived at the Ciudad Acuña bus station on Tuesday to purchase tickets for Veracruz, Monterrey and Mexico City. The same bus lines banned from selling them tickets for trips north through Mexico, sold them tickets to go south with no problem.