After a multi-week journey from Central America culminating in a chaotic tear-gas incident last weekend at the Tijuana River, some migrants from the Central American caravan are now regretting their decision to seek asylum in the United States, according to the Daily Beast.
“I thought it would be easy,” said 40-year-old corn farmer Carlos González, who traveled among the caravan with his wife and two children, ages 4 and 3 – only to end up in Tijuana – where the locals have been anything but welcoming. According to a poll in El Universal, 49% of Mexicans have said that caravans shouldn’t be allowed to cross the country.
“We’re here alone, hungry, unprotected. My daughter is sick with diarrhea,” he said. “I don’t want to lose my kids, lose my life.” González now hopes to earn money in Tijuana washing cars.
After more than a week in #Tijuana and with Benito Juarez migrant shelter overflowing, with delays of up to 6 weeks to claim asylum at the port of entry, tensions are emerging regarding sleeping spaces. Not to talk about other risks tied to hygiene, promiscuity and fire control. pic.twitter.com/7zfp7cqOUO
— Jonathan Pedneault (@j_pedneault) November 28, 2018
The migrants face long wait times and an uncertain future as they line up and put their names on a list to be heard for Asylum claims – which are currently being processed at a rate of less than 100 per day. Doing the math, it could be months before the roughly 5,000 migrants holed up in Tijuana shelters and a squalid soccer field camp are processed. Not only that, there is no guarantee they will be granted asylum – as migrants have to show evidence of valid claims.
Jeffrey Renderos, 31, put his name in a ledger and received a ticket with the number 1655. Renderos, a bearded Honduran who fled gang threats and arrived in Tijuana six months ago, figured he would wait at least a month to have a hearing—though he wasn’t complaining. He couldn’t contain his scorn for the caravan, however.
“If they acted like civilized people, it would be different,” he said. When asked why he held such a poor opinion of fellow Hondurans, he responded, “You saw the way they clashed with police?” –Daily Beast
35-year-old San Pedro Sula waiter Luis Corrales lost faith in the journey after Sunday’s tear-gas incident.
Luis Corrales, 35, a waiter from San Pedro Sula, didn’t expect any problems in the protest. He said the march set out to seek answers from U.S. officials, though he acknowledged some had hoped they could make their case to border patrol agents and enter the United States.
Women and children were walking at the front of the march, he said, “to see if they would let them enter.” –Daily Beast
Corrales, selling cigarettes to fellow migrants to get by, says that he thought that getting into the US would be as easy as when the caravan crossed from Guatemala into Mexico – only to be sadly disappointed.
“I’m done with the United States. I’ll stay here,” said Corrales.