by Photo by Manuel Ocaño

More than twelve desperate migrant families went to the Otay port of entry after being informed that the asylum process is temporarily closed. 

The director of the Pro Amore Dei shelter in Tijuana, Leticia Herrera, told Chula Vista Today that approximately 70 people, including children, decided to go to the port of entry intend to camp there.

“As far as I understand, some people from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) came to the shelter and told them that the asylum process is closed, so the families got desperate, took some of their things, and decided to go to Otay,” Herrera said.

According to Herrera, most of the people who went to the port of entry are from the state of Michoacán, which for about a year has been the scene of a war between drug cartels that terrify the population to force it to collaborate.

The migrant families arrived in the vicinity of the port of entry, but the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office deployed a group of agents as riot police and prevented the migrants from requesting asylum.

Migration officials from Mexico invited the migrants to return to the shelter with the promise that they would investigate information about the asylum process.

The director of the shelter said that about 50 people have returned, but about 20 more decided to stay near the port of entry.

The Biden administration resumed the Stay in Mexico program to receive asylum applications, but that policy, which began during the Donald Trump era, now has very limited scope.

The United States government only receives seven applications along the entire border, but only from migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Colombia.

The majority of migrants in Tijuana are instead from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. 

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