Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Huehuetoca Municipal Police, Federal Police And Immigration Agents Raided Immigrant Shelters In Mexico

Several immigrant Huehuetoca shelters in the state of Mexico were raided by municipal police, Federal Police and immigration agents without judicial warrants violating federal law.

By H. Nelson Goodson
June 18, 2013

San José Huehuetoca, Mexico, Mexico - On Monday, volunteers, activists and immigrant rights groups reported that Huehuetoca municipal police, Federal Police and agents from the National Institute of Migration (NIM - immigration enforcement agency) just before noon raided several San José Huehuetoca immigrant shelters allegedly violating Mexican federal immigration laws. The municipal police, federal police and NIM agents detained several undocumented immigrants inside the San José Huehuetoca immigrant shelter with excessive use of force, several other immigrants were detained, beaten with a night stick and then forced into a squad car. 
The raid began around 10:00 a.m. near the immigrant shelters and spread to the shelter nearby around 11:30 a.m., according to a letter sent as a complaint to five Mexican federal agencies by a collective group of organizations.
The groups wrote that four municipal police squads, Federal Police and several NIM agents were involved in Monday's raid. At least 30 undocumented immigrants were detained by authorities. Some of them had their hair pulled and were beaten with excessive violence and force by police while taking the immigrants into custody.
None of the authorities showed any judicial warrants to enter the shelters or to arrest undocumented immigrants. The groups and organizations want all operations of similar raids halted because federal immigration laws have been violated by the authorities. They are asking for the NIM to issue humanitarian visas to the immigrants that were abused, beaten and arrested by authorities involved in the joint operation. The groups are also requesting accountability for those authorities that used excessive force and beat the undocumented immigrants. They should be held accountable and prosecuted for violating immigration federal laws and human rights, according to the activists.
Andremar Galvan from COAMI posted in Facebook, that the authorities involved in the raid violated NIM immigration Article 76, which prohibits police and NIM to enter immigrant shelters, including organizations that provide assistance and protection to undocumented immigrants for the purpose to check for legal status.
The authorites also went to another shelter known as "La Carpa" (Tent) and detained more immigrants. The immigrant shelters provide food, a place to rest, spiritual aid, information about immigrant rights while traveling in Mexico and medical assistance for those in need.
The NIM in a press release on Monday confirmed, it has reinforced efforts in their application of human rights and the permanent capacity for public service providers to protect undocumented immigrants. Ardelio Vargas Fosado, the NIM Commissioner recognizes that undocumented immigrants are a vulnerable group and has instituted by privilege for all NIM personnel to respect their human rights independent of their undocumented status, according to the press release.
Fosado did not provide any information about the 30 immigrants that were detained on Monday. The NIM says it does investigate complaints filed by human rights groups.

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