More Roma citizens of Romania attempting to cross from Mexico into the USA to seek asylum this year
The Reuters wire service reports that the US authorities have recorded a rise recently in the number of Roma who are citizens of Romania, an EU Member State, attempting to cross from Mexico into the USA by sailing rafts across the Rio Grande river, the natural border between Mexico and the state of Texas in the USA. The rafts have attracted the attention of US border guards in recent weeks, as has the migrants' appearance.
"They were noticeably taller [than migrants there usually are] and instead of wearing the usual t-shirts and jeans they were wearing skirts, stylish shoes and sportswear," Reuters reports. When US border guards arrested the migrants at the river and attempted to speak Spanish with them, a long period of silence ensued.
According to a photographer for Reuters, the migrants then explained in broken English that they are not from Mexico, but are citizens of Romania. Specifically, these migrants were Roma from Romania, who explained to Reuters that they are fleeing Romania because of racism and want to seek asylum in the USA.
According to media reports from Romania, many such migrants fly from Paris to Mexico City as tourists because they do not need visas to enter Mexico. Once they arrive, smugglers take them by bus to the US border, where they cross the Rio Grande on boats or rafts.
The photographer for Reuters said that during the last three weeks he has seen almost 200 such citizens of Romania at different points along the border with Texas, many of whom were with extended family groups of between 10 and 15 people. According to data from the US Customs and Border Patrol, border guards have arrested 2 217 Romanian passport holders so far this year, exponentially more than were arrested in 2020 (266) or 2019 (289).
In the year 2016 more than 2 000 citizens of Romania crossed the southwestern border of the United States. The number of this year's arrivals is the highest recorded since 2007, the first year for which there is data available about applications filed by arriving migrants seeking citizenship in the USA.
Margareta Matache, the director of the Roma Program at Harvard University, which is part of its FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, says many Roma flee Romania to escape the desperate economic situation there, which currently is partially a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to escape persecution on the basis of their ethnicity. "Current US policy is offering the hope of more humane, just treatment, and that also applies to immigrants," Matache said.
"Roma are seeking a better life in a place where they will not be subjected to violence, discrimination or disrespect," Matache explained. The Romanian Government says they have yet to receive reports from US authorities about citizens of Romania who have been detained, but confirmed that representatives of the Embassy of Romania have been in communication with local authorities after reading news reports about Romanian citizens being involved.
- Romanian chief of local police filmed beating handcuffed Romani men as they lie on the ground
- Another victim of the German terrorist attack, a young man from Romania, is also from the Roma minority
- VIDEO: Ostentatious homes built by Roma community in Romania reflect their desire for prestige
- USA: Four-month-old Romani boy is youngest child to be separated from his parents at the border with Mexico
- Romania loses at the European Court of Human Rights, must compensate Roma family for police brutality
- Romania: 900 protest recent violence against Roma in Italy and Ukraine, more demonstrations in other European countries to follow
- Stano Daniel: Will a renovated nursery school have to close in Romania? Support for Romani child development is crucial
- Romania: Ethnic Hungarian mob commits arson against Romani children accused of stealing
- France, Romania sign treaty on repatriating Romani people who overstay
- Czech Romani group criticizes French and Romanian Governments
- Romania: Politician scores points by evicting Romani people, building wall
- The Roma narrative of Romanian media: racism, antiracism and symbolic scapegoating
- Romania to remove defamatory definitions for Jews and Roma from new dictionary
- Romanian Roma flagging people down at Czech-German border crossing
- ERRC: Romania Continues to Flout European Court of Human Rights
- Town hall in Romania building wall around part of Romani housing estate
- Roma Face Ghettoization in Romania
- France prepares (again) to round up and deport 28 000 Romani people back to Romania
- Brutal attack on Romanian workers in Czech Republic - racists thought they were Roma
- France resumes deportations of Roma people from Romania
- Romanian Senate rejects bill to officially rename Roma "Gypsies"
- Romania to consider changing official designation of Roma to "Gypsies"
- Survey reveals that 36 per cent of Romanians consider Roma a threat
- European Union funds not reaching the Roma of Romania
- Almost 300 Romanians leave France in immigration crackdown
- Romania and Bulgaria keep low profile on Roma expulsions
- Jaroslav Miko: Romani voters must cast their ballots for a democratic coalition, otherwise anti-Romani extremists may get into government
- Albanian comedy shows feature blackface, prejudice and stereotypes about Romani people
- Romani associations distance themselves from community member who apparently expressed desire to attack Czech politician
- Mayor and police in Czech town correct the record about assault incident to make clear Romani people were not involved as first alleged
- Slovakia: Those planning to attend public events with Pope Francis have to register online
- Romania: "Gipsycoin" cryptocurrency launched by Romani community leader
- Czech citizens living abroad can vote in October elections, deadline to register at consulate or embassy is 29 August
- Three innovations introduced to prevent hatred and racism on Instagram after UEFA's EURO 2020 championship sees spike in racist speech
- Czech Senate Committee on Social Policy recommends rejection of bill authorizing attachment of welfare benefits over local unpaid fines
- Austria's Die Presse: Covert racism is why Europe's Roma are worse off after COVID-19 pandemic
- Romani runner in Slovakia whose junior career has been so hopeful confirms she is pregnant
- Slovak President and Plenipotentiary for Roma object to wave of hate and racism following announcement of Pope's visit to Romani neighborhood