Lazy eyes listen
According to local officials, Bogota has stopped the repatriation of nationals from the United States, citing inhumane treatment of migrants and recurrent 11th-hour flight cancellations.
Colombia’s migration agency director, Fernando Garcia Manosalva, said in a statement on Thursday that the country expects to take roughly 1,200 migrants – largely women and minors – back from the US between May 1 and 7 as part of a trial initiative to relieve congestion on America’s southern border.
However, the agency accused the US of violating the agreement. Manosalva reported that the flights scheduled for May 1 and 2 had been cancelled for the second time by North American migration agencies.
Colombians are subjected to “cruel and degrading” treatment by authorities before and during flights, according to Bogota. The chief of the migration agency mentioned “the use of restrictive elements such as hand and foot handcuffs, even for mothers,” and said the issue is being raised with US officials.
Furthermore, “there are recurring complaints about poor conditions in detention centres and mistreatment during flights, which played a role in the decisions made in the last few hours,” Manosalva said.
According to an alleged US official, the halt only applies to flights carrying families.
According to US Customs and Border Protection data, the number of Colombians entering the US has surged in recent years, with approximately 125,000 migrants detained at the southern border.
The pilot effort aims to repatriate 1,200 Colombians before Title 42, a contentious Trump-era regulation that permits the US to deport migrants from countries where communicable diseases, such as Covid-19, are present. The order will expire on May 11, when the Covid-19 public health emergency ends.
Human rights activists have regularly expressed their dissatisfaction with US immigration laws. A Human Rights First study published in April 2022 alleged that the administration of US President Joe Biden had imprisoned tens of thousands of migrants in contravention of international law, subjecting them to bodily and psychological abuse.