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After deportation to Sonora, Venezuelans find themselves in tight spot in Hermosillo

After a recent policy change, the United States has been returning many Venezuelan asylum seekers to Mexico.

Edixon Sandoval crossed into the United States in El Paso earlier this month to ask for asylum, as thousands of other Venezuelans have been doing in recent months. But thanks to a new Department of Homeland Security policy for Venezuelan nationals, he was returned to Mexico through Nogales last Sunday, and then bused to Hermosillo. There, Mexican immigration authorities gave him just seven days to leave the country at its southern border by his own means.

Without any money, he said it’s very difficult to think about what comes next.

“It’s day by day,” he said in a downtown park, where he and several Venezuelan friends were hiding in the shade from the hot midday sun. “I’m selling candy to feed myself.”

With the Sunday deadline fast approaching, he and other Venezuelans have tried to ask local immigration authorities to extend their stay, but have so far been rebuffed.

He shot a videoin front of the Mexican Migration Institute’s Hermosillo office Friday, to document his and his compatriots’ exasperation as the window closed on getting their situation resolved before the weekend.

“We’re desperate,” he said at the end of the video. “Nobody is giving us an explanation of anything.”

Born and raised in the Intermountain West, Murphy Woodhouse has called southern Arizona home for most of the last decade. He’s one of two field correspondents at KJZZ’s Hermosillo bureau, where his reporting focuses on the trade relationship between Arizona, Sonora and the rest of Mexico.Before joining the station, Murphy was a reporter at the Arizona Daily Star and the Nogales International. Prior to his reporting career, he completed a master’s degree at the University of Arizona’s Center for Latin American Studies and did three wildfire seasons with the Snake River Hotshots. He’s a proud graduate of the University of Montana’s School of Journalism.When he’s not reporting, Murphy is often out in the woods running or riding singletrack, or swinging in a hammock with a book.