Things That Matter

After Being Denied Asylum By The US Some Migrants Are Returning Home With Mexico’s Help

There have been nearly 17,000 returns by asylum seekers to Mexico from the United States under the “Remain In Mexico” program. These nearly 17,000 people may wait months or even longer for their claims to work their way through the backlogged US immigration courts.

And under a recent agreement with Washington to head off threatened US tariffs on Mexican goods, Mexico agreed to an expansion of the program to other border points beyond the three cities in which it was already in place.

In conjunction with the US’ ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, Mexico has started assisting migrants with transport back home.

Credit: @VOANews / Twitter

The Mexican government unveiled on Tuesday a new program to transport asylum seekers turned back by U.S. border officials back to their home countries in Central America.

In a statement, the Foreign Relations Department described it as the beginning of a “temporary program of voluntary return” for migrants in northern Mexico who wish to go home.

It said 69 people — 40 Hondurans, 22 Guatemalans and seven Salvadorans — were involved, and 66 of those were returnees under the U.S. program.

Carrying their belongings in plastic bags, adults and children lined up to board the bus in the morning.

One woman cradled her daughter on her lap and gazed out the window as they prepared to depart.

U.S. asylum cases can take months or years to be decided because of a massive backlog of immigration court cases. Even hearings can take months to be scheduled.

Credit: @thenation / Twitter

The migrants sent home on Tuesday had lived in Ciudad Juarez for as long as half a year while waiting for judges to rule on their asylum cases, Mexico’s migration institute (INM) said in a statement.

Some people had asylum hearings scheduled as far out as September 2020 and many were mothers with children, INM added.

Honduran migrant Angela Flores said she suffered during the wait in Ciudad Juarez, including extortion by police. “We wanted to go to the United States for a better future for our children… we’ve suffered humiliation, ugly things,” she said, without providing details.

Migrant advocates, as well as asylum officers, have slammed US immigration policy for the potential to put migrants at risk by sending them for extended periods to live in some of Mexico’s most violent cities. As well, rights groups worry that migrants who give up on their asylum claims could be sent back to the same dangerous situations they fled.

Meanwhile, vulnerable immigrants and refugees are being forced to stay in some of Mexico’s most dangerous cities.

Credit: @SFH9770 / Twitter

Cities like Juarez and Tijuana can be dangerous places with high homicide rates. Farther east along the border, in the Gulf coast state of Tamaulipas, drug cartels have historically been known to target migrants for kidnapping, extortion and murder.

Nuevo Laredo, in Tamaulipas across from Laredo, Texas, is one of three new cities to begin receiving returnees from the United States.

Selee said asylum seekers often find it hard to get by for long periods in Mexico while they wait for their claims to be decided, so it is not surprising some would want to leave.

Of the migrants returning on Tuesday, several declined interviews out of fear for their lives.

They said they had turned in criminals, putting their lives at risk if they were to be identified.

Another migrant said she had fled an abusive husband, which in the past has been grounds to be granted asylum in the United States.

READ: Trump Administration To Resume Controversial And Damaging ‘Remain In Mexico’ Policy For Asylum Seekers

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Here’s What We Know So Far About The ‘Rebelde’ Reboot Coming To Netflix

Entertainment

Here’s What We Know So Far About The ‘Rebelde’ Reboot Coming To Netflix

Nostalgia has a way of taking us right back to who we were when we saw and heard some of our favorite things. “Rebelde” is definitely one of the top nostalgic moments in most Latino childhoods. Well, get ready because Netflix is bringing “Rebelde” back so you can dive back into the stories that will forever hold a special place in your heart.

“Rebelde” is coming back and this is definitely not a drill.

After years of being off the air, the historic and iconic show “Rebelde” is back and people cannot wait. The original cast has been good at keeping our love for them alive as they toured and created music. Most recently, RBD, the surviving band of original Rebelde members, dropped a new single to make the pandemic a little more tolerable.

We already know who is reprising their role in the reboot.

Celina Ferrer, played by Estefanía Villarreal, is coming back as the principal of the school. The official announcement letter was signed by the Elite Way School alumna.

“EWS is renowned for the excellence of its illustrious student body, young people ready to dazzle the world. In these halls, we have shaped icons who have gone on to entertain millions with their talent, and our classrooms have turned students into stars, ready for the big stage,” reads the letter. “Today, our Board of Directors is proud to present the next generation of young people who will become part of our prestigious institution in the upcoming 2022 school year. We welcome our future students Azul Guatia, Sergio Mayer Mori, Andrea Chaparro, Jeronimo Cantillo, Franco Masini, Lixeth Selene, Alejandro Puente, and Giovanna Grigio, who have been selected from an impressive list of applicants. The new students will start wearing the EWS uniform during orientation, which will start on March 1 of this year, thus preparing themselves for the upcoming 2022 school year at this institution, always committed to educating the leaders of tomorrow.”

Here’s a quick look at the new class.

Azul Guaita

Guaita is best known for her impressive TikTok account. She also starred in telenovelas ‘Mi marrido tiene familia” and “Soltero con hijas.” The 19-year-old Mexican actress has garnered more than 2 million followers on TikTok.

Sergio Mayer Mori

Mayer Mori is son of Mexican actor and producer Sergio Mayer and Uruguayan-born Mexican actress, model, producer and writer Bárbara Mori Ochoa. The young actor was in “Un padre no tan padre” in 2016.

Andrea Chaparro

Andrea is the daughter of famed Mexican actor Omar Chapparo. Hopefully the actress brings her unapologetic grunge vibes to the set in her role.

Jeronimo Cantillo

Cantillo is best known for his role in Verdad Oculta and Los Morales as well as his reggaeton music. The actor is bringing his award nominated acting chops and musical stylings to the highly anticipated Netflix reboot.

Franco Masini

Masini is one of the biggest names attached to the new “Rebelde” reboot. With several projects under his belt and more than 1 million Instagram followers, Masini is definitely bringing a large following to the Netflix show.

Lizeth Selene

Selene has made a name for herself as a musician and model. It is pretty impressive that her first acting job is going to be as part of the newest Rebelde class.

Alejandro Puente

Puente is an actor, writer, and director with a lot of success in Mexico. He is best known for his role as Todd Anderson in the Mexican stage adaptation of “Dead Poets Society.” He also stars in “El Club,” a crime drama television show in Mexico.

Giovanna Grigio

Grigio comes to the Elite Way School with 6 million Instagram followers and a lot of experience. The Brazilian actress has starred in several television shows and movies and will definitely bring some strong talent to the show.

READ: RBD Is Back With A New Single And This Is Not A Drill

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Biden Is Counting On Mexico’s President To Help With Immigration But That’s A Risky Move

Things That Matter

Biden Is Counting On Mexico’s President To Help With Immigration But That’s A Risky Move

One of the stranger things to happen during the Trump presidency was the unlikely alliance between Trump and Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). The former frequently spoke disparaging of Mexicans and pursued cruel and inhumane immigration policies that directly targeted the constituents of the latter. Yet AMLO was a major supporter of Trump’s most severe immigration policies and, in fact, helped bring them to fruition.

Now, with a new president in the White House, AMLO is being asked again to recalibrate his approach to immigration but having once been a major ally of Trump, how will he work alongside a President Biden?

Presidents Biden and AMLO host a virtual meeting to discuss a wide range of topics.

President Biden is hoping that Mexico’s President AMLO can help him avert another crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, given AMLO’s close alliance with Trump and support of his harsh immigration policies, Biden may face an uphill battle.

But as the administration faces an uptick in migrants attempting to cross into the U.S., Biden is hoping that AMLO can become a partner in preventing another cycle of out-of-control migration from Central America. The Mexican president appeared open to collaboration, issuing a joint statement committing to address climate change, the pandemic and migration north.

Their first head to head meeting comes after a rocky start for the two leaders. Mexico’s President was one of the last leaders in the world to congratulate Biden on his election victory, with many saying AMLO fears a Biden administration as potentially more interested in pressuring Mexico on its own domestic matters.

President AMLO was a key player in Trump’s harsh and inhumane immigration tactics.

Despite his racist rhetoric directly targeting Mexicans and his cruel and hardline immigration policies that largely shifted the pressure to Mexico, AMLO largely accepted Trump’s worst policies with little resistance.

As migrant caravans formed in Central America and attempted to make their way to the U.S. passing through Mexico, AMLO unleashed his newly formed Guardia Nacional to stop them in their tracks. His agents arrested and deported thousands of migrants back to their home countries, often using tear gas and other extreme tactics to do so.

And President AMLO said nothing as Trump implemented the “Remain in Mexico” policy which forced thousands of refugees and asylum seekers to await their claims on the Mexican side of the border, amid a global health pandemic, shifting the burden to Mexican officials.

Biden looks to continue many of Trump’s policies.

Although Biden campaigned against Trump’s harsh immigration policies, the president wants many of the same things from AMLO that Trump asked for: help in keeping Central American migrants from immediately surging north toward the United States through Mexico. And although Biden declared he would break sharply with Trump on immigration, he’s only abandoned some of his predecessors policies.

The Biden administration has formed a task force to unite parents separated from their children Trump’s family separations policy. He’s also begun welcoming back a limited number of asylum seekers who were exposed to violence and kidnappings in dangerous areas of Mexico under a Trump-era program. But the Biden administration has kept in place a separate Trump policy that empowers agents to rapidly expel new arrivals at the border to Mexican authorities as Biden hopes to avoid a crisis that challenged his predecessors.

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