Before Article 42 expires, immigrants flock to the US-Mexico border

Before Article 42 expires, immigrants flock to the US-Mexico border
Before Article 42 expires, immigrants flock to the US-Mexico border

From the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to San Diego and Tijuana, many migrants have gathered along parts of the US-Mexico border wondering when or if they will cross into the US to seek asylum once the pandemic-related restrictions known as Section 42 expire.

Immigrants who traveled from Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Central America fear that it will be difficult for them to stay on US soil as restrictions are lifted and the provision is suspended.

The Associated Press reported stories of migrants from the 3,140-kilometer border, including the story of Lodin, a Honduran man who asked not to use his surname out of fear for his and his family’s safety, and who arrived Friday at the port of El Chaparral in Tijuana with his pregnant wife and 2-year-old son. 5 years old.

He said he had been trying to use an app border officials created for people to claim asylum in the US, “CBP One,” every day for weeks.

He repeatedly uploaded his condition information and photos, including the scars on his body from being shot nine times during the 2021 robbery. But the app didn’t work, displaying only an “error” on the screen.

Blaine Buckey, an immigration attorney who helps people at the crossing, said US officials are asking asylum seekers at the port to keep trying the app.

“It appears that there is no option at the moment for people to seek asylum if they do not have an appointment through the CBP application,” she said.

Some of the migrants were arriving at the border after months of travel, like Jesus Bravo, who, along with his wife Johan Miberasa, arrived at Matamoros across the border from Brownsville, Texas, with twin infant daughters born along the way.

They left their native Venezuela nine months ago, crossed the “Darien Gap” that divides Colombia and Panama, and then stopped in Panama, where the girls were born.

On Friday, they got off a bus, pushed the kids in a double wagon through town and headed straight to the banks of the Rio Grande.

“I’m sick of the app, they never reply, they never give me an appointment,” said Bravo, 23. So I have to cross the river, like everyone else.”

As for Aileen Guevara, 45, she is accompanied by her two children, ages 16 and 5, and her husband. After receiving death threats, the family fled their coastal city in Colombia, hoping to find refuge in the United States.

After spending the previous night in a hotel, they were anxious to get to the border “to get in with the help of God and Jesus,” Guevara says, but when they arrived just hours before Section 42 expired, an American immigration officer told them they could not pass because Section had expired.

As for Jose Manuel Bueno, he is one of the people returned to Ciudad Juarez late Thursday.


The 28-year-old Venezuelan said he did not know the exact whereabouts of his pregnant wife and three children, who are being held in the United States. He said he was advised earlier to use the app, but decided it would be best to cross the border and turn himself in.


Diana Rodas, an elementary school teacher from Colombia, spent the night shivering with her two daughters, ages 7 and 13, sleeping on the floor between two towering border walls that divide San Diego and Tijuana.

At around 2 a.m. Friday, US agents took away between 15 and 20 families with children under the age of two who were among the hundreds sleeping under plastic tarps and blankets.

said Rodas, who fled her home country after her life was threatened. She was afraid of deportation, but she wanted to remain optimistic. “Hope is the last thing to lose.”

Hundreds of migrants, most of them families, sat in 20 rows between the border walls while Border Patrol agents roamed and decided whose case would be dealt with.

When they choose someone, the others cheer and wish them good luck.

Gloria Inigo from Peru said she hopes she, her husband and their daughters, ages 5 and 8, will be the next to be chosen before the rules change.

Authorities in the remote desert community of Yuma, Arizona, expressed concern after the average daily number of immigrant arrivals this week rose from 300 to 1,000.

Mayor Doug Nichols asked the federal government to declare a national disaster so that FEMA resources and National Guard troops could be transferred to his and other small frontier communities.

Most migrants are taken to shelters run by non-profit organizations far from the border, but border officials will release them into communities if there is not enough transportation available. Nichols said officials told him they would release 141 people in Yuma County on Friday.

Venezuelan Dayana Ybarra and her husband two weeks ago crossed a gap in the wall near El Paso because they feared it would be much more difficult after Section 42 expired.

And they were caught. She was held for three days and her husband for nine before being released. They are now waiting at the Sacred Heart shelter in El Paso in hopes of raising the money needed to get to North Carolina, where she has two brothers.

Along Tijuana’s border wall, migrants ask passers-by for blankets, food and water as the sun sets over a steep hill.

At midnight on Thursday, the Section 42 law that was put in place in January 2020 under the state of health emergency related to the Corona virus was lifted.