CALEXICO, Calif. – The Calexico Port of Entry continues to see an increase of Africans and Haitians. Authorities are trying to figure out what is causing so many to leave their home countries.
Among those, is Loikesma Pierre. It has been nearly two years since she left her home in Haiti.
“I have my two children and would like to give them a better education,” said Pierre.
Pierre says she first flew to Brazil then went through Peru to Central America. In Nicaragua she says she was robbed and beaten. She says women were often raped, even by police.
“Nicaragua was bad, really bad. There I suffered a lot. I lost my money and I went through a lot there,” Pierre says.
Jean, another member of the group that arrived on Sunday, says his experience was similar in Nicaragua.
” I know a lot of people that are in Costa Rica right now. They can’t cross because things are so bad in Nicaragua,” Jean said.
Pierre Hardol says he left his family in Congo nearly five months ago. Hardol says he flew from Congo to Chile and then made his way to Colombia where he says many of his travelling companions perished in the jungle from snake bites or soldier attacks.
Hardol and Pierre both say they entered Mexico through the small town of Tapachula in the Mexican state of Chiapas. There they say Mexican immigration officials handed them a humanitarian permit that allows them to stay in the country for 20 days.
According to the Mexican newspaper, El Universal, immigration officials registered 424 Africans arriving in Tapachula during a two day period in late August.
Pierre says she has been treated well since arriving in Mexicali, but says her ultimate destination is the United States.
“For now, I’m just waiting. I went through all of it, through all those countries to make it there, the United States,” said Pierre.
KYMA reached out to Customs and Border Protection who declined to comment on the matter but stated in a press release that they have, “seen in uptick in the number of cases of Haitians arriving to the ports of entry in Calexico.” They say these individuals are being processed on a case by case basis.