With deportations reaching record highs, a new multi-media report by the Washington Office on Latin America outlines the dangers facing deportees taken to border cities in Mexico and elsewhere. WOLA is a non-governmental organization that promotes human rights. The report concludes:
Certain deportation practices are putting migrants at risk of being kidnapped, extorted, and even killed by drug cartels and criminal groups operating along the border.
According to WOLA, the procedures that put deportees at risk include:
- nightime deportations
-deportations to dangerous Mexican border cities such as Cuidad Juarez or Matamoros (as opposed to safer cities such as Tijuana where there are facilities set up to help deportees)
- lateral deportations in which migrants are deported to a sector far distant from the one in which they were detained
- loss of belongings in the deportation process. According to a University of Arizona study quoted in the article, nearly 40 percent of deportees report that their belongings, including money, ID, cell phones, were not returned to them prior to deportation.
Check out these stories that outline some of these challenges for deportees: about how quickly life can become desperate after deportation, shelters set up to help deportees in TIjuana, and the challenges of family reunification after deportation.