(Daily Mail) Nothing and no one is going to stop Genso Perez from realizing his dream of reaching New York and opening an import and export business.
Not Donald Trump‘s border wall, not the Mexican police who dumped him off a train, and certainly not Eric Adams, the mayor of New York who is just up the road in Central Mexico telling migrants not to come to his overcrowded city.
‘I don’t care if the place is crowded,’ said the laughing Venezuelan at a shelter about an hour’s drive from where Adams was receiving a honorary degree.
‘I want to be part of the crowd. I want to be one of many.’
This is what Adams is up against during his four-day trip to Central and Southern America.
He has come with a message that his city is full and cannot cope with more arrivals seeking a better life.
Genso Perez, 32, has spent 33 days traveling from Venezuela to central Mexico. He has his heart set on starting a business in New York and says Mayor Eric Adams will not dissuade him
The migrant shelter in Apizaco is tucked away behind the basilica of a church and provides basic amenities for thousands of passing migrants heading towards the US border
Shelters are over capacity after almost 120,000 migrants arrived in New York in the past year and his top adviser even demanded that the Biden administration close the border.
At the end of his first full day in Mexico, Adams told reporters that his message was clear: New York streets are not paved with gold.
‘We’re saying to those migrants and asylum seekers,’ he said, ‘that when you come to New York, unlike what has what has been told to you: that you are going to receive a job that you’re going to automatically receive a job that you’re automatically going to be placed in a hotel, that there’s this endless flow of resources coming from New York City…we’re saying that is not true.’
At about the same time as Adams was landing in Mexico City on Wednesday evening, 32-year-old Perez was dropping from La Bestia – the freight train famous for carrying hundreds of thousands of migrants north.
He landed by the tracks in Apizaco, a city couple of hours east of the capital, the latest stop on his 33-day journey from Venezuela.
‘I’m a seller kind of guy,’ he said describing how whenever anyone needed to sell a car or bag of clothes or consignment of oil in his hometown they would come to him.
‘New York is an active city day and night. It means I would have more opportunity to build my business.’
He told his story at the Shelter of the Sacred Family, which has about 120 beds just a stone’s throw from the railway line making it a favored resting point for people on their way to Mexico City and beyond.
Beside him, Neri Orsorto, 28, from Honduras nodded along.
He has an uncle in New York who promised to help him build a new life after one of the country’s notorious maras, or gangs, forced him to sell drugs for them.
Neri Orsorto, 28, from Honduras, is also aiming for New York, where he has an uncle
About 5,000 people pass through the Shelter of the Sacred Family in Apizaco each year. Shelters across Mexico say they are full or operating beyond capacity
Washing facilities are basic at the shelter, which can house 120 people at a time
Mayor Eric Adams was in Mexico City on Thursday morning when he met Sister Magda, who is the founder of shelter for women and children, and directs a network of migrant services. Adams is on a four-day trip designed to discourage migrants from heading to New York
‘I don’t want to see my daughters killed in front of me,’ he said, describing one of the gang’s many threats.
For some, nothing will put them off traveling to the ‘city that never sleeps,’ its money and its reputation proving too much of a lure.
But not everyone is so set on the place.
Tales of overcrowding and violent anti-migrant protests are spreading among those connected in WhatsApp networks.
‘It’s beautiful,’ said Jose Daniel, 25, at Our Lady of the Forsaken Parish Migrant House near the bus station in the city of Puebla. ‘But all the migrants are going to New York.’
He described how news of lines of migrants on the streets and other negative headlines reached him.