SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Breitbart Texas posted at the municipal Migrant Resource Center and spoke to Yunior Rangel, a Venezuelan migrant who recently crossed the border at Eagle Pass, Texas. On a brisk Saturday morning, Yunior shared his story and a short video chronicling his journey into Panama from Colombia and through the Darien Gap.
Yunior, 25, recounted a two-month journey from Colombia to San Antonio, Texas. Yunior filmed his departure from Colombia on a ferry filled with migrants. He crossed the Gulf of Uraba to Panama. Like Yunior, the migrants on board are from a host of countries planning to make the trek through the Darien Gap in Panama. He says he filmed parts of the journey to leave a record for his family in Venezuela if he went missing.
The video later shows a long line of migrants walking into the jungle along narrow, steep trails. At one point, Yunior stopped to film a migrant who had died. Yunior says there is no one to help if things go wrong. The darkened trails are filled with migrants who share the same intent but are not in the same situation, he added. Yunior said he is healthy and young and did not fear the trek.
On the contrary, he says many of the others were women and children. He says he saw some migrants who were older and in poor health. “If you die there, no one is there to stop and report it … There you stay,” he said in Spanish.
Yunior says he lived in Colombia for the last two years working as a delivery man and other odd jobs. When asked what made him come to the United States, he was quick to answer: “Money and opportunity.” Yunior says he was earning the equivalent of $100 per month in Colombia. “You can work your whole life and never own a car, here, I have spoken to other Venezuelans who have been here two months and already own a vehicle.”
Yunior told Breitbart Texas he has no relatives in the United States and is more than likely to remain in San Antonio. He pointed to several men standing along a busy street near the Migrant Resource Center and said, “Those guys are Venezuelans too, they’ll stand there until someone who needs labor picks them up.” Yunior says he has already found a place to stay in the city with other Venezuelan men. He does not worry about the legality of finding employment, adding that he has not had any problems finding day labor.
When asked about the future end to the Title 42 CDC order used to expel Venezuelan migrants to Mexico, Yunior says the situation is hard to understand. They deport some and release others. “I was lucky, they pulled me and several others in a group aside and told us we were free to leave.”
Yunior says he was released by Border Patrol after surrendering to authorities in Eagle Pass nearly one week ago. After being bused to the shelter in San Antonio, he left after two days and found other Venezuelans to live with in nearby housing. Asked if he ever intended to return to Venezuela, Yunior responded without hesitation: “Not unless they make me.”
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.