If you’ve been following the news, then you know that immigration reform is a trending topic that’s global at this point. President Donald Trump made it clear that he’s against amnesty for illegal immigrants, and that border security needs to be stricter. Well, I came across some disturbing news, by way of African Esq., and I had to share it with you all. According to Democracy Now and UPI, thousands of Haitian and African migrants are stranded in Mexico, unable to get through immigration.
Mexico is cracking down on undocumented migrants trying to reach the United States and Canada, responding to President Trump’s threat to close the U.S. – Mexico border. So thousands of African migrants from Angola and Haitian migrants are stranded in the southern state of Chiapas, on the Guatemalan border. Many of them took flights to Ecuador since no VISA is required, but Mexico is refusing to grant them travel VISAs. An immigration official advised the following:
“The truth is that these laws have always existed, but they were never applied.”
“We are now applying the law. Every undocumented migrant risks deportation if they enter the country illegally and do not register with immigration officials.”
Since migrants are unable to get through immigration, they have been left to live on the streets for months. They have to wash themselves and their clothes in sewage-contaminated streams; they don’t have bathrooms, so they’re forced to defecate outside; they don’t have water for food preparation or to wash their hands, so many are developing gastrointestinal infections. An Angolan mother of four, Lidia Maria Afonzo, stated the following:
“I want a better life for my children.”
“We need clothes and things for hygiene. None of us drink any water during the day. It costs money and all of us are hungry. My son has had diarrhea for days.”
A Haitian migrant traveling with his 8-month-old daughter, Cineac Kinchel, also stated the following:
“I really want to get to New York, where I have friends who can take care of us.”
“I can’t go back to Haiti. The government will kill me.”
Reading Mr. Kinchel’s plea reminded me of some previous news shared about the Haitian government and the current protests taking place. In recent months, street protests against the government have turned into vandalism, fires, gunshots, injuries, and even deaths. The anger is fueled by allegations that President Jovenel Moïse and his predecessor, Michel Martelly, embezzled $2 billion of funds that were intended to improve infrastructure, health, and education services. Haiti is the poorest country in the Caribbean, and the movement to remove President Moïse from office is growing.
The poverty in Angola is no different. Although Angola is one of Africa’s most resource-rich countries, being the second-largest oil producer and fourth-largest diamond producer, two-thirds of the population live on less than $2 a day. Government elites and employees reap the benefits of the oil industry, while the rest of the country suffers from high infant mortality and illiteracy rates, poor access to clean water and sanitation, and little to no resources. So it all makes sense as to why these migrants are fleeing their countries.
Anger is an understatement compared to the helplessness I feel when I research the conditions of African people. Corrupt governments filled with incompetent Black Leadership seem to be apart of the Black narrative because all of us have the same problem. If you’re familiar with any organizations that are helping the natives in these countries, please comment below. Because waiting on the government to do the right thing is asking for too much.
Until Next Time…
Kraus, K. (2016, February 19). POVERTY IN ANGOLA: CAUSES, UPDATES AND STATISTICS . Retrieved from https://borgenproject.org/poverty-angola-causes-updates-statistics/
Roberts, J. M., & Steele, G. (2019, June 21). An Invisible Crisis: Thousands of African Migrants Are Stranded in Mexico Hoping to Head North. Retrieved from https://www.heritage.org/international-economies/commentary/corruption-and-violence-are-crippling-haiti
Timmons, P. (2019, May 14). Squalid migrant shantytown forms in Mexican border city. Retrieved from https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2019/05/14/Squalid-migrant-shantytown-forms-in-Mexican-border-city/5501557701209/
An Invisible Crisis: Thousands of African Migrants Are Stranded in Mexico Hoping to Head North. (2019, September 10). Retrieved from https://www.democracynow.org/2019/9/10/african_migrants_mexico_transit_policy