Frustrated migrants moved miles from border, face long asylum waitlist

Frederick Owens
December 5, 2018

A second taller fence past a hill kept them from reaching California, creating an area heavily guarded by border patrols.

The caravan formed in Honduras and gathered thousands of Central American migrants as it made its way north toward the United States. The border crossing - which Tijuana residents use to reach jobs and shopping on the USA side and US tourists use to head south - was closed briefly last weekend after some migrants tried to rush across.

The migrants in Tijuana are part of several caravans that traveled through Mexico in an effort to enter the United States, citing issues such as widespread violence and dismal job prospects in their home countries.

Dozens of Central American migrants, frustrated by weeks of waiting in squalid camps, went over the 10-foot border fence at Tijuana last night, according to Reuters.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection released surveillance video showing what looks to be two migrant children being handed over from the Mexico side of the wall into Arizona.

The crossings started just before dusk when "three thin people" managed to "squeeze through the fence on the beach".

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Melanie Hernandez, a migrant at the new shelter, said the desperate situation created by the rain has "improved the humanitarian response" offered by Mexican and US non-governmental organizations, many of whom are offering clothes, medical care and some legal services.

Thousands of migrants have been waiting for a chance to apply for asylum.

One of the children "suffered a facial injury" and was treated on the scene. The woman said she would decide her family's next action "in a couple of days".

"We have a challenging and still potentially volatile situation in Tijuana". They turned around and waved to those still on the Mexican side. At least one mother with three children were among those who crossed over.

Applying for asylum at a border post can take months and with United States officials restricting the number of applicants to between 40 and 100 a day at El Chaparral port of entry in Tijuana, the migrants could be stuck for months or even years in the shelter. "It's a huge challenge that we need to work with Congress to address.We've got criminal organizations profiting off of vulnerable families, charging $5000-$7000 per person".

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