Many US-bound car­a­van mi­grants dis­perse as asy­lum process stalls

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - WORLD -

TI­JUANA, Mex­ico: Thou­sands of Cen­tral Amer­i­can mi­grants spent weeks trav­el­ling north through Mex­ico in caravans, walk­ing and hitch­ing rides when pos­si­ble, only for many to give up hope and turn back when they met re­sis­tance at the US border.

Oth­ers hopped the border fence, of­ten di­rectly into the hands of im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties on the US side, while still oth­ers dug in at tem­po­rary lodg­ings in Ti­juana for the long process of seek­ing asy­lum from a re­luc­tant US gov­ern­ment.

As rain poured down on a for­mer mu­sic venue in Ti­juana that holds a di­min­ished crowd of 2,500 mi­grants, Jes­sica, 18, grabbed her fever­ish 1-year-old daugh­ter and took her inside to a friend while she fig­ured out what to do with her bro­ken tent.

Jes­sica had trav­elled from El Sal­vador, and said she and her hus­band were wait­ing in the Bar­retal camp for the right mo­ment to try to cross the border il­le­gally.

Other mi­grants face the same dilemma.

Of 6,000 who ar­rived in Ti­juana in the caravans last month, 1,000 have scram­bled over border fences, and most of those were de­tained, the head of Mex­ico’s civil pro­tec­tion agency David Leon told lo­cal me­dia on Wed­nes­day.

A fur­ther 1,000 have ac­cepted vol­un­tary de­por­ta­tion, he said, while oth­ers are liv­ing on the street out­side the mu­nic­i­pal sports cen­ter where they first ar­rived, or in smaller shel­ters.

The director of the Bar­retal camp, Mario Me­d­ina, said he ex­pected hun­dreds more to ar­rive within days.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has sought to make it harder to get asy­lum, but a fed­eral court last month placed a tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der on his pol­icy that only per­mit­ted asy­lum claims made at of­fi­cial ports of en­try. — Reuters

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