TIJUANA, Mexico – About 200 Central American migrants who arrived at the San Ysidro border crossing point are living in uncertainty over whether US authorities will grant their asylum and entry requests, while their traveling companions await their turn for processing in the city of Tijuana.
About 50 of the migrants spent the night on open ground near the crossing point entrance, a site known as El Chaparral, because the US immigration facility was already full.
Approximately 130 more migrants are waiting in shelters in Tijuana, in the northwestern state of Baja California, for their chance to enter the facility to present their requests, which – if approved – would give them provisional access to the US, although they would have to remain in detention centers, where their cases would be examined in greater detail by US immigration authorities.
With the arrival of the first members of the caravan at the crossing point one more phase of the collective migration phenomenon has now been completed after the group set out in late March in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas en route to Tijuana.
On Sunday, hundreds of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala demonstrated in Tijuana, backed by supporters on both sides of the border. The two contingents staged a protest in the Playas de Tijuana area, where the border fence enters the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
The caravan, which started out with some 1,500 migrants, set off from Tapachula, Chiapas, and last Thursday 130 of them arrived in Tijuana, followed by 200 more on Friday.
The rest of the caravan dispersed gradually after their arrival in Puebla and the Mexican capital, both in central Mexico.
The migrants’ common aim is to request humanitarian asylum in the US to escape the violence in their home countries, mainly at the hands of criminal groups.