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Haitians head to northern Mexico town, await asylum chance in US

Haitians asylum seekers
Hundreds of Haitians asylum seekers live on the streets of Reynosa, unable to afford rent or find accommodation at a local shelter. Photo by Robox91/Creative Commons

By The Haitian Times 
www.haitiantimes.com 

Thousands of migrants, many Haitians among them, living in a northern Mexican town while waiting for an opportunity to cross into the United States have begun to overwhelm the city, according to local media. Housing facilities in particular are at capacity in Reynosa, a town bordering the town of McAllen, Texas, about 240 miles south of San Antonio. 

“​​In the shelters we’re working at, there are nearly 4,000 [migrants],” said Chloe Tastatter, co-founder of Solidarity Engineering, a group that helps coordinate infrastructure projects in Reynosa. “There are thousands more throughout the city who either sleep on the streets or compacted in small apartments.”

Because of the long waits, many Haitians in Reynosa have joined the informal economy, selling chicken kebabs, fruit and other items in order to survive, according to La Tarde, a Reynosa online publication. When available, some join employment programs sponsored by the local government. 

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