JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – The number of tents on the sidewalks of two government buildings near the Rio Grande has multiplied in recent days, as migrants settle in to wait for the end of Title 42 expulsions in the U.S.
On Tuesday, Juarez officials estimated the number of tents next to the National Migration Institute (INM) building and City Hall had grown from a handful last week to 93 by mid-afternoon.
Migrants like Janeicy, a Venezuelan mom, said their intent was to wait for the announced May 11 rollback of Title 42 expulsions at the U.S. border. But she said life is so hard on the streets of Juarez she does not know if she can hold out two more weeks.
“First, I have no money. Second, I’m afraid to give up now and be sent back after coming from so far away,” the mother of a 6-year-old boy said. “I don’t know if I will remain here. I want to turn myself in because I am tired of sleeping in a tent, uncomfortable with my son … and to eat (only) once in a while; not to have a good meal.”
Many of the newcomers to the tent camp only recently arrived in Juarez.
Yafet Melendez, of El Salvador, said he is one of thousands who have left their homeland in the past two years due to poverty, crime and a glimmer of hope the Biden administration will allow them into the U.S.
“God willing, they will do away with it (Title 42) and give us the opportunity to work and help our families. That would be good because we suffered a lot on the way here,” said Melendez, who arrived in Juarez on Monday.
Roberto, who is also staying at the camp, said poverty drove him out of Venezuela. He said migrants will continue to come to the border regardless of politics in the U.S.
“That will always happen because people are trying to provide for their families, who are hungry,” Roberto said. “God willing, we will be able to cross and get a job so we can send money to our families. My father is very sick, he cannot even walk, and I need to send money to him and to our family.”
Roberto said he’s heard about people in Juarez offering to get the migrants over or around the border wall. But he said he would rather make a lawful asylum petition in the U.S. and doesn’t have the money to pay a smuggler, anyway.