Deportations of the Elderly Increase

August 9, 2017

By Antonio Avilés

In the last six weeks, senior citizens living illegally in the United States are being targeted by immigration authorities, becoming the perfect targets for deportation.

“I noticed in recent months that older people have arrived and that they will have more problems adapting to the country,” said Pat Murphy, director of the Casa del Migrante shelter for migrants in Tijuana.

One such case was Sergio Sanchez, who was deported to Tijuana when a pair of California agents arrested him for traffic ticket debt.

For over 30 years, Sanchez dedicated himself to working construction in San Diego. His son, an American citizen, accompanied him on his deportation.

“The Mexican supported me more than the American, my country helped me more than the country of my son,” said Sánchez, a native of Xalapa, Veracruz.

It is estimated that more than 110 people are deported from the United States to Baja California every day, but managers of migrant shelters agreed that in the last month, the number of returnees to the Mexican border increased to 30 percent.

“They are coming every day in large numbers, we have 135 in the migrant’s house tonight but what helps us is that many do not stay with us and those who remain look for work so they can start their new life,” Murphy said.

“The numbers of deportees remained low from January to April. However, in recent months it has increased so it is necessary to address this wave of deportees before it represents a real problem,” Murphy added.

According to Murphy, by not paying attention to this situation, many elderly deportees could be left on the streets. Therefore, it is necessary to work in coordination with Mexican federal authorities so that alternatives can be offered to deported individuals.

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