Newly single seeking Reynosa

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Nicaraguan migrant Bernardo Calero wraps a bandage around the leg of his son, Grisber, on Sept. The Caleros were traveling toward the Texas-Mexico border in a van with roughly 20 other migrants when Newly single seeking Reynosa assailants opened fire on them, leaving Grisber seriously injured. Harlingen lawyer Jodi Goodwin, who helped spring Grisber from U. Grisber knew the danger he faced back home. Dictatorial President Daniel Ortega and his powerful wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, have shown their willingness to crack down on political protests by any means necessary — and a lot of young college students like Grisber have been shot as a result.

He and several other Central Americans were sprayed with bullets near midnight on Aug. One of the migrants, a Honduran woman, was shot in the head while she cradled her months-old baby, Grisber and his father say. They flee the frying pan of violence and extortion in their home countries only to land in the fire that is Mexico, where robbery, shakedowns by dirty cops and price-gouging by profiteering merchants leave them desperate and broke by the time they reach the U.

This is a story Mexican politicians and diplomats, often critical of increasingly harsh U. But unless Central Americans pay a coyote — human smuggler — up front before leaving home, they are almost certain to endure abuse in Mexico on their way north. Others, like Grisber, get caught in the crossfire as warring cartels fight for a piece of the lucrative business of moving migrants across the Rio Grande. Grisber flashes a nervous smile. First on the campaign trail and now in the White House, Donald Trump has made undocumented immigrants crossing the border from Mexico his most reliable whipping post.

Then, a year and a half into office, Trump unleashed a border crackdown so harsh — leaving thousands of children separated from their parents — that even staunch conservatives like Sen. As the two-year mark of the Trump presidency draws near, few would dispute that life has gotten tougher for people in the United States without legal permission. There are a lot of upsides for the criminals and few downsides, so why not? Reported crimes against migrants in Mexico quadrupled from towhile the of humanitarian visas Mexico provided to migrants who were victims or witnesses of crimes — protection extended on Sept.

But impunity reigns, according to the Washington Office on Latin America, which found only 1 percent of crimes against migrants end in conviction. Grisber was nursing two gunshot wounds, one a poorly stitched-up crater in his upper right thigh, the other a crescent-shaped gash across his right buttock. Bernardo, 49, was still picking at tiny shards of shattered glass in his leg. Customs and Border Protection at the official port of entry. A few days later, the two reunited and quickly headed for the Honduran border, followed by Guatemala.

On Aug. Not anymore. Department of Homeland Security study. Homeland Security figures show 80 to 95 percent of border-crossing migrants contract with a smuggler. Like many other migrants, they had to freelance their way through Mexico, forking over thousands of dollars along the way to opportunists and cartel-connected gangs.

In Mexico, Central American migrants might as well have dollar s tattooed on their desperate faces. Everywhere they go, their clothing, accents and demeanor betray their origins and make them easy prey. To get to the U. A couple of years ago, migrant Dikenis Carias, his wife and two children were kicked out of Las Palmas Motel in Piedras Negras, Mexico Newly single seeking Reynosa opposite Eagle Pass — in the middle of the night after the owner discovered they were Honduran.

The rules of the hotel are another. This year, on the first sweltering day of August, Honduran migrant Doris Romero, her son and nephew stood near a soggy Texas riverbank and recounted their journey through Mexico. Romero said she was thankful for the Mexicans who took pity on her and lent her a helping hand. But what stuck with her was the humiliation and discrimination she felt. For the Caleros, the first swindle came when they went to change their precious dollars into the local currency at a casa de cambio. The official rate is about Newly single seeking Reynosa pesos to the dollar, but in Chiapas, the first Mexican state they reached after leaving Guatemala, Bernardo said the rate for migrants was six pesos for a dollar; in neighboring Tabasco it was Next came the bus drivers.

On their way to Villahermosa, Mexico, Bernardo and Grisber said the chofer, for a price, offered to stow them away in the luggage compartment or the bathroom should they need to hide from Mexican law enforcement. They paid up. But when a uniformed officer came on board, Bernardo had to pay him too, he said.

There was no need to hide. Through word of mouth, Bernardo tapped into a smuggling network in Villahermosa that would guide them to the border town of Reynosa in the northern state of Tamaulipas, the most popular staging ground for Central American migrants preparing to enter the United States. They landed on a dusty and thorny trail next to the highway, where the Caleros found about fellow migrants waiting for a caminante — walker — to guide them around the checkpoint.

After a few more migrants ed them from drop-offs at the same kilometer marker, the caminante barked some incomprehensible code words into his cell phone, and off they went. Bernardo snapped a cellphone picture of his son on the rocky path carrying a black and red backpack, sending it via WhatsApp to his brother Douglas in Indiana.

Newly single seeking Reynosa

They walked for hours along the trail, 20 miles in all. At one point, roughly halfway in, a distressed and pregnant Guatemalan migrant who was carrying a toddler stopped suddenly. Fearing she might die in the brush, Grisber and his father carried the toddler in their arms and helped the young mother along for three hours. Finally they reached an abandoned factory, where the migrants were separated into groups according to a claveor password, the caminante had given them.

Central American migrants who arrive in Reynosa without a Newly single seeking Reynosa do so at their own peril. At about p. Along the way they stopped to pick up other migrants, a couple of times at shopping centers, a couple of times at homes. Eventually nearly two dozen people were stuffed in the van, driven by a something Mexican.

At p. Minutes after, he saw a burst of red and blue flashing lights behind them, then heard a police siren. Their driver stepped on the gas, but the truck was drawing ever closer. Inside the van, the migrants — among them several children — began screaming and crying. The driver, keeping his cool, veered right and hit the brakes. The three or four armed men in the truck stopped behind the van.

Then they got out of the vehicle and opened fire on the migrants from about 10 yards away, the Caleros said. Grisber remembers hearing a loud boom and realizing he was shot. He fell back and looked down at his mangled right thigh. My leg! Then he heard another shot and he was hit again, this time in the right buttock. The people in the van screamed that they were migrants, unarmed civilians, and their assailants fled. Grisber and his father said the men were wearing blue uniforms and had logos consistent with Mexican federal police officers.

In the chaos that ensued, Bernardo lost his phone, but someone called for help. Within a half-hour the state police had arrived at the scene and called firefighters, who took the injured migrants to the hospital. Press reports the next day said there were 21 Central Americans in the van, four of whom were injured, including a Honduran woman who suffered a skull fracture. Bernardo said a bullet whizzed through the van and struck the young mother in the head.

She was cradling a months-old baby in her arms.

Newly single seeking Reynosa

The baby was not injured. Doctors at the General Hospital of Reynosa crudely stitched Newly single seeking Reynosa Grisber, and he was released a week and a half later, on Sept. Before the Caleros left the hospital, Bernardo struck up a conversation with the security guard outside. After leaving the hospital, the Caleros headed to the National Institute of Migration office next to the bridge linking Reynosa and Hidalgo.

There, on Sept. As a result, the sworn affidavit in his visa paperwork contains some unwarranted gratitude. It was neither true nor written by Bernardo, who had filed a complaint about the shooting with state authorities and felt his rights were violated in Mexico. An immigration official in Reynosa said the text was only intended to cover the treatment the Caleros received at the National Institute of Migration office. The Caleros were still determined to make it to the United States, but, uncertain about how best to get across the border, they took up temporary refuge inside the Senda de Vida migrant shelter, a fortified compound run by a Mexican soldier-turned-pastor.

While they were there, Goodwin, the South Texas immigration lawyer, learned of their plight and agreed to take their case. On Saturday, Sept. At the midway point on the bridge, where officials have ramped up scrutiny of asylum-seekers, Goodwin approached a Customs and Border Protection officer and announced she was accompanying the two Nicaraguans onto U. The officer asked if Grisber had an urgent health issue. Soon a wheelchair appeared, and U.

Bernardo was taken to the nearby Port Isabel Detention Center. Grisber went to the hospital. A day later, he underwent surgery to scrape and clean the wounds. Two weeks after that, with sensation slowly returning below his knee, Grisber walked out of McAllen Medical Center without assistance. At last check, Bernardo was at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Livingston awaiting his credible fear interview — the first step in the asylum process.

Goodwin said the Caleros should have strong cases to make for political asylum, particularly since they have plenty of evidence to demonstrate their own government is persecuting them. Was it, as the Caleros suspect, Mexican federal police officers?

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Donate Now Go. The lucky ones escape the worst of it: kidnapping, assault, sexual abuse. Impunity reigns First on the campaign trail and now in the White House, Donald Trump has made undocumented immigrants crossing the border from Mexico his most reliable whipping post.

Newly single seeking Reynosa

The father-son duo was unsure what to do next. Nothing went as planned. Then the bullets started flying. She told Bernardo they had hired pure amateurs. Follow Immigration.

Newly single seeking Reynosa

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