TIJUANA (Border Report) — As tension rises among Venezuelans who are being expelled from the U.S., Baja California officials are scrambling to stop rumors about pending deportations back to Venezuela.
Said fears ignited a riot at a migrant detention center on Tuesday night in Tijuana.
Mexico’s federal government is now getting involved to help offer migrants peace of mind.
Alejandro Ruiz, a federal delegate from Baja California, held a news conference to assure migrants they are not going to be sent back to Venezuela.
“No political decision has been made about the deportation of Venezuelans, nothing has been approved,” said Ruiz. “I can’t say this won’t happen in the future, but for the moment, nothing is imminent.”
Migrants have said they are afraid of being deported once their Mexican tourist visas expire in a few days.
They have been told they can get an extension and get refugee status in Mexico giving them the opportunity to seek employment according to Ruiz.
But migrants fear doing this will ruin their chances of asylum in the U.S.
Ruiz stated Mexico and the United States are now allowing the migrants to seek humanitarian status in the United States, but they must start the process in Mexico City, something that happened with Ukrainian migrants who streamed into Tijuana earlier this year.
The new migration enforcement process for Venezuelans is meant to reduce the number of people arriving at the Southwest border and entering the U.S. illegally.
Venezuelans approved via this process will be authorized on a case-by-case basis to travel to the United States by air directly to an interior port of entry.
To be eligible, Venezuelans must have a sponsor in the United States, pass a rigorous screening and complete vaccinations.
However, Venezuelans who hold refugee status in another country are not eligible, according to the directive.