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CBP One app: The real wall? Migrants in Mexico struggle with errors trying to seek asylum

JUAREZ, Chihuahua (KVIA) -- With the upcoming lifting of Title 42, some migrants in Juarez are still looking to apply for asylum the legal way.

Most of these migrants have tried to apply for months but have been unsuccessful.

ABC-7 got a closer look at how migrants try to apply and how they use the app that according to them doesn't work well.

The app shows them eight ports of entry across the U.S. - Mexico border which they can apply to any of those.

Every day just before 9 a.m., migrants set up in front of the National Institute of Migration to apply through the CBP One app. They even put up a white blanket hanging on a fence, just in case they reach the step of taking a picture of themselves.

Migrants also say, they have reached the final steps of the application but once they are about to submit it, it gives them an error message.

This has caused them frustration and desperation as some migrants also old ABC-7, they don't want to cross illegally; they will not give up on the app.

Joel Vargas comes from Venezuela, he has tried to apply for two months.

He doesn't want to give up because of his wife and daughter are still in Venezuela.

Migrants in Juarez have seen other people book an appointment on their first try, while others have been trying for a while now.

Other migrants also question how the U.S. can struggle with technology as a first-world country.

ABC-7 reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to learn more about the app.

"Scheduling an appointment for Title 42 humanitarian exception does not guarantee an individual entrance into the U.S," a spokesman with CBP said.

This is what brings confusion to migrants, not knowing if scheduling an appointment will guarantee them stay in the U.S.

On Friday, CBP sent a new press release announcing changes to the CBP One app. Starting May 10, the app will expand the number of appointments available for those seeking asylum, extend the time to complete their requests and prioritize those who have been waiting the longest.

"Scheduling an appointment in CBP One provides a safe, orderly, and humane process for noncitizens to access ports of entry rather than attempting to enter the United States irregularly," CBP said in the statement.

It's important to know, these changes will not change the way noncitizens initially register to the app themselves, their families, or others in the same group.

Fewer migrants have been seen in Juarez as the lifting of Title 42 is closer. The majority of them didn't wait for the app to be upgraded and have left the migrant camp in Juarez and started their own by gates 40 and 42 of the border wall.

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Heriberto Perez

Heriberto Perez Lara reports for ABC-7 on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.


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