At the southern border, immigrant crossroads have historically surged. New York Times photographers have recorded three ways people can cross the border into the United States.
Since the inauguration of President Hidalgo-Biden, Texas, migration on the southern border of the United States has risen to levels not seen in decades. Crossroads in the last two months have surpassed many last summer, and authorities expect this trend to continue despite little access to asylum, despite pandemic restrictions still being enforced. doing.
The majority of immigrants travel to the United States between official ports of entry, walking across national borders, swimming, crossing the Rio Grande, and most often cartel-approved hired in Mexico. It is under the supervision of a guide. Some Customs and Border Protection officials have invited you to cross a pedestrian bridge from Mexico. This is a much safer and more orderly route.
Waiting for careful selection
Immigration camp known as Senda Davida The Mexican city of Reynosa, across the river from McAllen, Texas, was packed for months. The minister who runs it opened a second space last month for migrants sleeping in a temporary camp in a nearby public park.
In early May, I learned that Honduras’ mother and daughter were in the camp and were in a group that chose to travel to the United States. A year ago, they said they fled Honduras after their 15-year-old daughter was kidnapped and raped by a local gang. She used to be a hilarious and talkative teenager, she now speaks very little, and she flirts when someone approaches, her mother said.
When the two arrived in Nuevo Laredo, a city in northern Mexico where drug cartels are fighting for grass, they and others on their buses were kidnapped and sexually assaulted for days. They said. On the 15th day, the mother and daughter boarded a boat carrying about 30 people, escaped the Rio Grande River and traveled to the United States. However, border authorities point to title 42, Public health rules Those who have restricted immigration since the beginning of the pandemic have sent them back to Mexico.
Soon, they registered at the Reynosa shelter. There you will find a database of all immigrants passing through it.
In late April, shelter minister Hector Silva will meet with U.S. government officials to discuss the process of sending immigrants eligible for humanitarian exceptions to public health rules across the pedestrian bridge between Reynosa and the United States. Was asked by. .. The government allows such exceptions to migrants who are considered particularly vulnerable by making case-by-case decisions.
Silva said Customs and Border Protection had been in contact a couple of times a day to seek out small groups of people who would fall into a particular category. For example, on May 1, Silva was asked to look for a single mother.
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According to Homeland Security asylum lawyers and officials, this also occurs elsewhere along the border, often in direct communication between local CBP officials, lawyers, and nonprofits helping asylum seekers. Is the result of. In other situations, asylum-seekers work directly with CBP personnel to identify migrants who meet humanitarian exceptions.
Senda De Vida’s mother and daughter were taken to a school bus and taken to a pedestrian bridge after being tested for coronavirus, along with other immigrants who may be eligible for the day. On the bridge, her daughter wore a face mask and a T-shirt with the words “Good Vibes Only,” staring at America and shining her eyes with a smile.
“My heart is throbbing,” said her mother, waiting for Customs and Border Protection officials to arrive on the bridge where the two types of pavement that separate Mexico and the United States meet. Her mother and daughter met their relatives in Austin later that day.
Trying to dodge border patrols
Early in the morning, five migrants sat in the parking lot of Hidalgo, most of whom were handcuffed to another migrant with one wrist. They gave the border guard the ID they were carrying and put their shoelaces, belts, watches, smartphones and other belongings in a plastic bag. Three were from Mexico and two were from Honduras. Two of the Mexicans got married and came to the United States for a better life. They left four children under the age of 12 at home with their families.
With the exception of one of them, it was not the first time I was caught across the border. Some had relatives in Texas and Minnesota.
Nearby agent Jesse Moreno has arrested several men in a self-storage business in Hidalgo, Texas, looking for a group of immigrants trying to avoid border patrols. The men had just crossed the river. Their jeans were soaked to the knees.
Another agent “kneels! Kneels!” After finding another immigrant from a group hiding under a truck in the parking lot of an adjacent strip mall. One man said he was crossing the border for the fourth time.
According to the Border Patrol, men are likely to be processed at a local train station, where agents record personal information, perform background checks, and then be sent back to Mexico from Hidalgo’s port of entry.
There are also many migrants who have been able to sneak around the detection across national borders. Border patrol agents call them “fugitives”. The Biden administration estimates that between October 2020 and September 2021, approximately 389,000 undocumented migrants avoided arrest.
Many people who have crossed the southern border in recent years will soon move away. Agents call them “give up”. Many make up a family.
One of the busiest crossroads in the Lower Rio Grande Valley is in Rome, Texas. Historical town A part on a sandstone cliff overlooking the Rio Grande, about 11,000. Before it got dark one night last month, a group of border guard agents watched a breathtaking view. It included part of a river where groups of immigrants often swim towards the United States early in the morning.
Later that week, a group of immigrants emerged from a river on the Texas side into private land, following a winding sandy road towards agents of the Texas National Guard and Border Guard awaiting such arrival.
Immigrants wet from the river presented carefully hidden documents to a border patrol agent who set up a temporary office with desks and chairs on the dirt road connecting the river and the town.
Dozens of people were lined up to wait for their turn to talk to the agent. No one tried to escape secretly. Everyone remained quiet.
The girl had to go to the bathroom, her mother took her to an unobtrusive place behind the border patrol truck, and the girl’s father worriedly watched them come back.
A Honduran mother gave the boy a bottle, smiled and stroked his hair.
A Guatemalan boy shook his head and tried to pull something out of his ear.
Waiting early in the morning, the parents turned to the children and brought out a smile.
Federal border authorities typically categorize immigrants to reduce processing time. Children arriving without a parent or guardian go to one area. Others are grouped by nationality. Adult immigrants from Mexico and Central America can be expelled quickly under pandemic public health regulations.
For example, some immigrants from Cuba and Nicaragua are usually processed domestically to wait for migration procedures that are most likely not done in months or years.
Once the agents have processed everyone, the migrants will be taken by bus to Customs and Border Protection, where they will wait in more lines and answer more questions. Some will stay there for a few days, at least before the authorities decide if they can stay in the country for now.