Venezuelan migrants seeking asylum in the United States were forced out of their makeshift camp near the Rio Grande on Sunday as Mexican authorities cleared out the camp, situated close to the U.S. border, due to what they claim are dangerous and unsanitary conditions.

Riot police descended upon the tent camp in the Rio Grande, which separates El Paso, Texas from Mexico, as the Mexican government expressed their fears regarding the living situation of the migrants. They claimed to be worried about them freezing to death, as well as the unsanitary conditions of the camp as there are no toilets or places to bathe nearby, the New York Post reported.

The Venezuelan migrants, many of whom walked from their country to the U.S.-Mexico border in an attempt to seek asylum and the promise of a better life stateside, have refused to go to the shelters prepared by the government, claiming that they were using this as a precursor to expel them back to Venezuela.

Despite pleas from the migrants, the authorities started taking down the tents, many of which were donated to them. Some of the tents caught fire as scuffles broke out between police and the migrants. Over 500-600 migrants were living in the area at the time.

Mexican police underwent a similar occurrence the next day when riot police cleared a park at a Bella Vista neighborhood filled with around 100 migrants, using similar reasoning of unsafe and unsanitary conditions to clear the area, according to Border Report.

Organizations like the Border Network for Human Rights have called the treatment of the migrants as “inhumane,” condemning the “violence and the use of force against human lives, regardless of the grounds or the entity that provokes it.”

In response, City Human Rights Office coordinator Santiago Gonzalez Reyes has denied that the closure of the camps violated the human rights of the migrants, saying that their health and safety were more important than the camps themselves.

The U.S. has denied any involvement in the decision to clear the camps. The Biden administration has attempted to tighten any crossing in the U.S. border through Title 42, which allowed the government to expel over 40% of border crossers from the country. Said policy has been declared illegal by a judge in November, and will stop being implemented on Dec. 21.

Venezuelan Migrant Camp Expelled Rep. Pic
A Venezuelan migrant camp in the Rio Grande was destroyed by Mexican authorities on Sunday as they claim that the area is unsafe and unsanitary for the migrants living in the area. This is a representational image. Barbara Zandoval/Unsplash.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.