Life inside a hotel in the US capital has become the new reality for hundreds of migrants who have been bused from Texas.
At least eight hotels in Washington have become temporary homes for these migrants, and their movements are monitored by local authorities.
I had to stop at a traffic light with the piece of paper”
Although their situation may seem comfortable inside the hotel, they express uncertainty about their future. Health services and other special requirements are largely their concern. Furthermore, they do not know how long they will be able to stay there, and for the most part they have no plans for the future.
“Of course, they still continue to come, and they are helping us in terms of health and education, which is very important,” says David Sequera, a Venezuelan migrant, to the voice of america.
The federal government has twice denied Washington National Guard assistance in receiving these people, but Mayor Muriel Bowser continues to shelter them and meet their basic needs.
“We are going to move forward with our planning to ensure that when people pass through DC on their way to their final destination, we have a humane environment for them,” Bowser said on Twitter.
Organizations and volunteers have already helped receive more than 8,000 asylum seekers sent from Texas since April, and more than 15% of them still remain in the capital, in hotels enabled for them. But how long will their situation be sustainable?
“The refugee who comes asking for political asylum across the border is not the same as those who arrived, for example, from Afghanistan at the time. They are totally different programs, and there is no government program that will accompany them in the long term,” explained Tatiana Laborde, director of the humanitarian organization SAMU First Respond.
Several of the migrants appreciate the help, but since they do not have a work permit and given the uncertainty about how long the assistance they receive will last, their well-being is not assured.
“I had to stop at a traffic light with the piece of paper and ask people,” said Venezuelan Alfonso Quintero.
Most of these migrants are Venezuelan, as Mariawho prefers to hide her true identity because she does not want to be recognized in her country.
“What one obviously wants is stability, I say that is what one would ask the government for, more than that they accept us. That they do something for the country and that we can all return, I say that this is the greatest favor they would do us, ”she told the VOA.
The Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP, for its acronym in English) reckons that Venezuelans detained on the southern border of the United States already triple this year the number of last year.
Connect with the Voice of America! Subscribe to our channel Youtube and turn on notifications, or follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.