Mexican man who died on U.S. border struggled to pay bills in Canada, family says

The Mexican man who died Feb. 19 shortly after crossing the border into the USA close to Stanstead — in the Jap Townships area of Quebec — had travelled from Toronto, the place he and his family had been dwelling for lower than a 12 months.

Jose Leos Cervantes, 45, had been struggling to make a dwelling in the Ontario capital when he determined to strive his luck in the U.S., his spouse mentioned in an interview with a Mexican radio station. 

The family moved to Toronto in June, hoping to get higher pay and higher work situations. 

However she mentioned Leos Cervantes misplaced his job two months in the past and struggled to discover one other that would pay for his or her lease over the winter months. The couple have three youngsters. 

Certainly one of Leos Cervantes’s daughters, Yanahi Leos Reyes, posted on Fb final week about her father’s dying, asking for donations so the family might pay to have his physique repatriated to their residence metropolis of Aguascalientes in central Mexico.

One other daughter wrote: “I am going to always remember you. You have been all the time my function mannequin. I really like you a lot, Dad.”

After struggling in Canada, many have tried their luck heading south. Others have come to Canada to keep away from stricter insurance policies on the U.S. southern border. 

Jose Leos Cervantes, a 45-year-old Mexican man who died after crossing by way of the Swanton Sector, had three youngsters and had been dwelling in Toronto. (Fb)

2nd border dying this 12 months

Since October, U.S. border brokers have intercepted 1,513 folks in the Swanton Sector, a stretch of the border from the New Hampshire-Maine state line to the western fringe of St. Lawrence County in New York state. 

That quantity is already 42 per cent greater than the 12 months ending October 2022, throughout which brokers stopped 1,065 folks. 

Leos Cervantes’s dying occurred lower than two months after that of Fritznel Richard, a 44-year-old Haitian man whose frozen physique was discovered greater than every week after he tried to cross by foot into the USA on Dec. 23. Like Leos Cervantes, Richard had struggled to make ends meet in Canada.

U.S. border patrol brokers for the Swanton Sector mentioned just lately the 115 folks they apprehended over one week in February have been from 12 completely different international locations, largely from Mexico.

“Sadly, perilous climate has finished nothing to deter this site visitors. Do not danger it!” they mentioned on Fb.

 A snow-covered sign is seen in front of a one-storey office building. The U.S. border brokers who patrol the Swanton Sector just lately warned in opposition to tried crossings due to the frigid temperatures. (Wilson Ring/The Related Press)

Charlie Barnett of Brome, Que., says he is lived close to the U.S. border most of his life. The home he is lived in for practically 20 years sits about 500 metres from the borderline.

“Up to now 12 months, I’ve most likely seen half a dozen folks strolling down the railroad tracks,” heading into the U.S., Barnett mentioned.

Worsening situations 

Kate Paarlberg-Kvam, who runs a non-profit in southern Vermont known as Neighborhood Asylum Seekers Undertaking, mentioned her group has been receiving calls from U.S. border brokers asking if it might assist asylum seekers who just lately crossed into the U.S. from Quebec. 

“I am not stunned that it is taking place as a result of the Biden administration has chosen to … deny folks their authorized rights. So, after all, they are going to discover one other place to cross,” Paarlberg-Kvam mentioned in a telephone interview Thursday.

The U.S. authorities, underneath President Joe Biden, has extended pandemic-era restrictions on migrants crossing from Mexico. Earlier this 12 months, it additionally introduced a coverage stopping migrants from international locations together with Venezuela and Haiti from claiming asylum in the U.S., as a substitute opening avenues for them to apply for two-year visas.

However Paarlberg-Kvam says immigration processes in the U.S. are backlogged, too. 

“It appears like situations for asylum seekers on either side of the border are fairly crappy, so it’s pushing folks to strive on the opposite facet — with not essentially great issues taking place upon arrival in both course,” they mentioned.

Vermont police are investigating Leos Cervantes’s dying. In a information launch, U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace mentioned he had been clutching a tree and collapsed as border brokers approached him, one other man and a lady he was with in Derby, Vermont, simply south of Stanstead.

Leos Reyes, his daughter, informed the Montreal Journal he had paid a smuggler greater than $3,200 US to assist get him throughout. She mentioned her father suffered from bronchial asthma and had a sinus an infection on the time. 

The U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace mentioned police arrested Maria Constante-Zamora, 31, an Ecuadorian lady dwelling in Connecticut. 

Constante-Zamora has been charged “with unlawfully trying to transport three people inside the USA whereas figuring out or recklessly disregarding that the people had come to and entered the USA in violation of the regulation.”

Related Articles

Back to top button