three tijuana hotels rescued 79 migrants from smugglers
A Tijuana hotel discovered 13 migrants from Mauritania, a small Muslim country in northwest Africa, being held against their will earlier this week.
Smugglers are using hotels as stash houses to keep migrants until they can secure payments for transportation to the U.S., claim advocates.
According to Tijuana Police, 79 migrants were actually removed from three hotels, including Hotel Jacuzzy’s, where the asylum seekers from Mauritania were staying.
79 migrants were brought to the National Institute for Migration in Tijuana after being “rescued” by police officers and the Mexican National Guard.
Thirty of the migrants, not just 13, are from Mauritania, while others are from the Republic of Congo, Colombia, and three other countries.
It’s similar to the time Iranians were seen and reported to police, said Alejandro Ruiz Uribe, a federal delegate representing Baja California in Mexico City.
It’s no secret this is happening, say human rights advocates like Soraya Vazquez with Al Otro Lado.
“Many hotels are used by smuggling organizations to hold asylum seekers,” Vazquez said. “Police are aware of this.”
According to Vazquez, the bigger problem is how these migrants end up in Tijuana despite not having legal permission to be here.
According to her, international human trafficking gangs are responsible for preying on people.
“This is a global problem, and it shows that there are no safe or adequate ways for refugees fleeing conflict or persecution to reach Mexico or the United States; they must rely on organized crime,” Vazquez said. Due to the language barrier and other factors, including religious persecution, these groups of migrants are considered vulnerable.
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