Hundreds of asylum seekers waiting on the international bridges are being cleared and moved to a shelter as temperatures drop in the borderland.
The Mexican Red Cross delegation in Juarez is helping move 195 asylum seekers from the Paso Del Norte bridge downtown to the Casa Del Migrante, Juarez’s main immigrant shelter.
A group of Cuban asylum seekers, who said they are fleeing political persecution, said they welcome the move to a shelter. The group said they prefer to keep their two small children warm and safe instead of on the bridge exposed to the elements and a constant stream of car exhaust.
The main concern asylum seekers expressed was having their place in line secured. The Mexican Red Cross has set up a numbered waiting list where people will have their order recorded and be called up to the border to petition as more space is made. The waiting list will be managed by several government agencies and NGOs.
The clearing of migrants at the bridge comes as ports of entry become crowded with hundreds of asylum seekers waiting days to me admitted into the US. Customs and Border Protection, who controls the ports of entry, has said they are flooded with asylum seekers and don’t have the physical space to take in and process the wave of asylum seekers.
An asylum seeker at the border, the next person in line to be admitted, said he had been waiting in the bridge for eight days. The Cuban group, at the base of the pedestrian bridge, said they had moved 20 meters in two and a half days.
One Border Patrol agent told ABC-7 they have run into migrants giving themselves up after crossing illegally who say they could not keep waiting at the ports of entry.
Crossing illegally and presenting themselves to Border Patrol will no longer be an option for asylum seekers Saturday as President Trump issued an order that asylum seekers must go in through ports of entry, something that worries immigration officials will create too big a demand for CBP officers in the area.