Listen: Mexico, Africa And Central Africa discussed on Morning Edition
"Inskeep. And I'm no king. Good morning who are the asylum-seekers crossing from Mexico into the US. You probably think it's people from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and that is right? But for years migrants from Africa have also come through Mexico to seek asylum in the United States. Now they're coming in unprecedented numbers, and US cities are getting ready. Colleen bridge is a city official in San Antonio. We are expecting more migrants from central Africa. We've been told to expect more and so were keeping our French speakers on standby in case we need them where rallying once again to try to get some more funds to be able to buy tickets when folks get here and don't have a way to get their ticket to their final destination. Okay. She's speaking from the US NPR's, Carrie Kahn, is on the line from Mexico City carry. This is really extrordinary. If you just picture, a globe, what is the journey like from? Central Africa, all the way to Central America. It's, it's incredible. And for so many, it's just heroin many come by boat. They also come in flights into central. I'm starting to south out a South America. They come into boats into Brazil flights to Ecuador and then they just start that trek northward through Colombian into Panama. And that's, that's the just a treacherous stretch that stretch between Colombian Panama. It is a hundred plus mile stretch known as the Darien gap, and there are no roads. It is a mesh of mountains jungles and swamps that are now rampant with drug traffickers smugglers, and just bands of robbers, and you talk to migrants who walk they just walk that hundred miles, and they tell you chilling horrific stories of robberies rapes, and people just dropping dead. From the physical strain of the trip, and I've been on the Panama side of the border when people are coming out of the gap and their legs, and their feet are swollen, their bitten their bloody and they're just stressed exhausted and traumatized. And then. You're just in Panama, you still have the huge swath of journey in front of you through the rest of Central American into Mexico and navigating that situation in Mexico with its own bands of struggler smugglers. Organized crime, gangs, and crept. Authorities so you imagine people arriving in Mexico. They're sick. They're exhausted. They may be hurt. How is Mexico handling these people? It clearly they're struggling with the influx of not only the central Americans but Africans and Cubans and Haitians, but the Africans are tough because of the language, many do speak conference, English speaking regions of Africa, but many speak Portuguese. And there's a lot of racism here in Mexico into Mexico doesn't have the resources to deal with all these migrants in the last year. If you look at figures on government, websites, there were just two deportations of Africans from Mexico, Mexico, can't afford to be sending Africans back on planes and the figures that I could get phone. Mexican officials showed a big increase in just the first four months of this year. There were two thousand Africans arrested detained but it's unclear where. Where they're being released to where they going immigration officials didn't respond to my questions yesterday. So the numbers of Africans coming through Mexico. It's still just a fraction of the central Americans detained in deported. But it's it's a large increase really interesting to understand that Mexico can't simply deport people, because it would be would be deporting them, tens of thousands of miles home, and that costs. I know that you are other colleagues have talked to some of the African migrants. What are they telling you about why they're making this journey, and if they giving you hints as to why more of them are coming? It's political, strife violence, poverty same issues that we're hearing a lot going from northern Africa into Europe. Maybe the migration crackdown in north Africa's changed some of the smuggling routes is unclear there's hundreds of Africans in the border city of tapa Chula in our colleague, James Frederick, spoke to one. He's twenty four year old man from Cameroon Fortuna Amaury let's hear what he had to say. I'm so free."