Mexican Migrant Shelters Notice Spike in Deportees
UPDATE (2/24): Since this story aired, CHANNEL 5 NEWS has learned Oscar Martinez Rosas has an arrest record for petty theft between $100 and $299.
REYNOSA, Mex. – Mexican migrant shelters are expecting a rise in the number of deportees following President Trump’s executive orders.
Senda De Vida Casa Del Migrante, a migrant shelter in Reynosa, is struggling to keep up with the tide of people deported from the U.S.
Hector Silva operates the respite center. He said the U.S. has deported around 60 to 80 people a day in the past weeks.
Silva said they received about 160 deportees on Thursday. He said many of them return distraught after being separated from their families still living in the U.S.
“We’ve had families over the last few days who cannot sleep. They can’t handle the situation because they are so far from where they were living,” he said.
Deportee Oscar Martinez Rosas said he was living illegally in Jacksonville, Florida when ICE agents detained him about a month ago.
“I was working, doing construction work and ICE took me. They were trying to find someone else and they took me,” he said.
Martinez said his parents sent him to the U.S. as a child with a cousin many years ago. He said this is his first time back in his native country.
“It’s hard because I don’t know about Mexico. It’s different. I hear about cartels, mafias and all that. So, yeah it’s bad news,” he said.
Martinez said he doesn’t plan to stay at the shelter for long.
“You can go to Canada if you are from Mexico and you have a passport… You can go there and work and be legal, because Canada is different from the United States,” he said.
He said although the U.S. is home, he won’t return until he’s able to do so legally.
Others in the shelter said they fear crossing the border illegally one more time, but they also fear staying in Reynosa. They don’t have the resources to return to their Mexican hometowns or Central American home countries.
Silva said he needs more support from the Tamaulipas government to help people find a way home and keep them comfortable while they’re at the shelter. He said the shelter is already running low on food and hygiene items
“If we have more people, we are going to have more problems with food, clothing and hygiene. We are preparing to give support to all these families,” he said.
The migrant shelter director said he expects bigger crowds of deportees in the coming weeks.