Among the many tons of of Central American migrants crossing the Rio Grande river each day on rafts from Mexico to Texas, dozens stood out on a latest day. They have been usually taller and a few wore skirts, fashionable sneakers and tracksuits, whereas lots of the different migrants wore T-shirts, pants and denims.
U.S. border patrol officers who apprehended them close to the river tried to talk to them in Spanish. There was a pause as a number of the border crossers defined in damaged English that they have been Romanians, a Reuters photographer mentioned.
Scores of Romanians who’re a part of the Roma ethnic minority have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas in latest weeks to hunt asylum, highlighting the far-flung origins of a number of the migrants who’ve contributed to frame arrests in latest months reaching a 20-year excessive. read more
Reuters witnessed giant teams of those migrants crossing the Rio Grande on rafts on a number of events in Might. The migrants Reuters spoke to mentioned they have been fleeing racism in Romania and needed to hunt asylum in the USA.
The Roma are Europe’s largest ethnic minority and have a protracted historical past of social exclusion and discrimination.
Over three weeks, a Reuters photographer noticed practically 200 Romanians crossing at completely different factors alongside the Texas border, many prolonged household teams of 10-15 folks.
Border patrol brokers have apprehended 2,217 Romanians to this point in fiscal 12 months 2021, greater than the 266 caught in fiscal 2020 and the 289 in fiscal 2019, in keeping with knowledge supplied by the U.S. Customs and Border Safety company.
Greater than 2,000 Romanians crossed the southwest border in fiscal 12 months 2016. Present arrivals are on tempo to be the very best since 2007, the earliest 12 months for which citizenship arrival knowledge is on the market.
Margareta Matache, director of the Roma Program on the FXB Heart for Well being and Human Rights at Harvard College, mentioned many Roma fled Romania to flee persecution and dire financial circumstances, partly fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. read more
“At the moment, U.S. insurance policies and coverage proposals supply hope for extra humane and simply insurance policies, together with for immigrants,” Matache mentioned. “They (Roma) are in search of a greater life in a spot the place they aren’t uncovered to violence, discrimination, and disrespect.”
Romania’s overseas ministry didn’t reply to a request for remark.
The European Union Company for Basic Rights present in a 2016 survey of practically 8,000 Roma folks in 9 European international locations that about 80% of the Roma inhabitants was dwelling under the nationwide poverty line.
There isn’t a official inhabitants rely for Roma folks, who reside in lots of international locations and have lengthy confronted prejudice in Europe and worldwide. Most reside in jap Europe, notably in Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Hungary.
In line with Romanian media experiences, many Romanian migrants fly from Paris to Mexico Metropolis as vacationers as they don’t want visas to enter Mexico. Then smugglers take them by bus to the U.S. border the place they cross the Rio Grande by boat or raft.
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