They deported me, they wouldn't let me make a call. They had me restrained all by myself, locked up alone, imprisoned apart from the others. In fact, they didn't even let me shower. I was locked up for four days and they wouldn't let me shower or anything.
When the human rights investigators finally arrived, the next day at dawn they moved me because I gave them my statement that what they were doing to me was an injustice, they had no reason and they should never have deported me, having my documentation with me.
(Mexican immigration officials accompanied Walter back to Honduras where they turned him in to the authorities. However, once the authorities realized Walter hadn’t committed any crimes and there was no reason to detain him, they let him go.)
So there at the DPI (National Police of Honduras) they had me detained and then they saw that I had no criminal record in my country or anything. They asked me, "But why did they bring you?" I said, "Well, they didn't tell me anything. Only that, supposedly, they were going to take me to Mexico City.”
I told them it was probably because of the caravan, since I had been a participant in the caravan. I don't know what accusations they have. So that's when the person who helped me there at the DPI told me, "Go home. We can't arrest you here if you don't have an arrest warrant."
So right there in San Pedro Sula I went to the court.
I didn’t want to return to Tegucigalpa. What I wanted was to come back (to Mexico) and well, now knowing that they never should have deported me, be able to return to the country and be able to fight my case. Be able to file a lawsuit and fight for my rights.
(Walter would eventually make his way back to Tijuana in June 2019 and apply for another humanitarian visa because the immigration officials who arrested and deported him a few months earlier had taken his original card.
His application was denied, and instead he received a notice advising him that he had to leave the country. However, with the help of local migrant rights defenders, Walter was able to file a lawsuit to remove the migratory alert that had been placed on him and ask for reinstatement of his papers. In the meantime, the lawsuit places a temporary hold on his deportation orders while his case plays out in court.)
Q: That provides at least some protection for you?
A: Yes, because just having that document, well, you don’t have to walk the streets in fear. Because the police sometimes ask you for your documents, and if you don't have them, they threaten you.
They have intimidated many fellow (migrants). In fact, someone just called me; he is a fellow (migrant) who came with us in the caravan, who also helped out a lot. He told me that the police had detained him. He was going to the store with his nephew, and the police detained him. I don’t know if it was the Municipal (police) or Federal. He was going to send money back to Honduras, to their families. Five thousand pesos he had been saving. They took all of his money.
Q: Have you been able to receive any support from the government while in Mexico?
A: We haven’t received help from the state or the government. I have had a hard time because of the migratory alert and everything else. You have to look for the organizations that help us. They have even helped (to provide) us with groceries because they knew we were not working. In my partner's case, she was four months (without work). Four months! And during those four months, she didn't receive any income or anything.
Q: So what are your plans or hopes for the new year?
A: Well, right now as we know, because of the pandemic everything is stopped. We know it’s really tough. Think about all the people who still have numbers. There are people who are still waiting (to seek asylum). (The border) is closed and they are not being taken care of or anything.
In fact, there are a lot of people who crossed to the other side (into the United States) and were returned back to appeal their asylum case here (in Mexico) under MPP. We know that this administration was very tough. The Trump administration, that is. But let's see what happens with the new president. Hopefully, it will soften his heart more.