TIJUANA, Mexico – The woman squeezed under the first, sneaking through the gap through the border fence. The space is only a few inches tall and her feet threw dust in the air as she wriggled. Then, her 3-year-old daughter, dressed in a pink sweatsuit, was pushed forward on her back and feet in California by a man who remained in Mexico.
The mother pressed them anxiously. "Hurry up," she said. "I'm here, it does not matter if you're dirty."
Fifteen seconds later, Honduras's mother and daughter were together in the United States. A US border protection officer soon approached an all-terrain vehicle to take them into custody.
US Customs and Border Protection officials said on Tuesday that the San Diego area had experienced a "slight rise" among families entering the United States illegally and engaging in agents since the arrival of the United States. Caravan of Central American migrants in Tijuana two weeks ago.
Thousands of migrants on the Mexican side of the border live in tented cities in Tijuana after a grueling week of work across Mexico, on foot and hitchhiking, to seek asylum in the United States. -United. Frustrated by the long wait, In the United States, which handles a maximum of 100 requests per day, some migrants are trying to smuggle.
Rachel Rivera, 19, told The Associated Press that Honduras had become unlivable. Moments before flattening herself under the fence, she said she was slipping into the United States trying to "give a better life" to her daughter Charlot.
An AP video reporter also observed more than two dozen migrants climbing a fence between Mexico and the United States on Monday night. Once crossed, whole families raised their hands in front of border patrol officers who arrived quickly in white trucks.
It is not known where the families were taken from there.
A typical day before the arrival of the caravan in Tijuana, US border patrol boats in the San Diego area arrested about 120 people attempting to cross the border illegally from Mexico.
President Donald Trump issued a proclamation in November suspending the asylum rights of people trying to enter the United States illegally. Rights groups question the legality of this proclamation.
US Customs and Border Protection spokesman Ralph DeSio said the United States was trying to deter illegal crossings by issuing the proclamation.
The United States has established a process for asylum seekers to be "orderly" at the point of entry, DeSio told AP by e-mail. "When people choose to ignore this process, they put themselves at risk and, in the case of families, they choose to put the lives of their children at risk."
Trump again used Twitter on Tuesday to mobilize support for a better border wall, arguing that the spending would be lower than that incurred each year by the United States because of illegal immigration.
People originally from Honduras, but also from El Salvador and Guatemala have formed the caravan bound for Tijuana, seeking security in numbers while crossing Mexico to avoid the criminals and the fees charged by the gangs that get together. feed migrants. Dozens of migrants told AP that they were fleeing poverty and seeking a better life, while many also reported violence and death threats at home.
Margarita Lopez, a Honduran migrant, said that she would certainly pass the security fence in the United States if she had the opportunity. Meanwhile, Lopez queued Tuesday to seek a humanitarian visa to the Mexican authorities, which would allow him to live and work in Mexico for a year.
Luis Fernando Vazquez, a Guatemalan migrant, said he would not go to the border.
"I'm not like that," he says. "I prefer working, behaving well, here."
Associated Press writers Amy Guthrie in Mexico City and Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed to this report.
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