Photo Credit: TexasTribune.com
Sister Norma Pimentel, the strong-willed, soft-spoken head of the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, has been leading the bulk of the 2,500 migrants camped at the foot of the Gateway International Bridge to new ground, just up the street along the banks of the Rio Grande River in recent days.
Some families have been setting up tents and makeshift shelters there for months, but the relative safety of the main encampment, patrolled by Mexican federal police and supported by the constant presence of volunteers humanitarian workers, has been a powerful draw for migrants pushed back from the U.S. border following last year’s “Migrant Protection Protocols,” preventing migrants awaiting asylum hearings from temporary lodging in the U.S., supported by sponsors. And the snakes: the shore of the Rio Grande is infested with coral snakes.
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Yet the snakes now seem less of a threat than Matamoros locals who have lately been holding anti-migrant demonstrations, and by some accounts threatening, harassing, and assaulting migrants. Tolerance is fading in Matamoros.
Border Report has the full story here, including a long video interview with Sister Pimentel: https://www.borderreport.com/hot-topics/immigration/asylum-seekers-in-matamoros-relocating-away-from-international-bridge-due-to-safety-concerns/