Posted on June 12, 2024

Migrants From Around the World Traverse California Desert to Reach US

Adrees Latif and Mary Milliken, Reuters, June 6, 2024

Propped up against the rusty steel slats of the border wall, migrant families who hours before crossed the U.S.-Mexico border rest under tarps and tents and await Border Patrol officers.

Some of the families along this remote desert stretch in San Diego County have brought their children with them, including small infants.

In recent months, the San Diego-Mexico border has become one of the busiest crossings for migrants seeking safe haven and opportunities in the United States.

In May, Reuters reporters came across Colombians, Ecuadoreans, Peruvians, Turks, Brazilians, Jordanians, Egyptians, Indians and Chinese – a more varied mix than the Mexicans and Central Americans who formed the bulk of migrants in years past.

The high volume of crossings has ignited a political firestorm for President Joe Biden as the Democrat seeks re-election in November. And they have provided Republicans and their likely presidential candidate Donald Trump with plenty of ammunition to criticize Biden’s immigration policy.

The Biden administration is hoping the numbers of migrants crossing will drop following the announcement this week of a broad asylum ban that would deny migrants caught crossing illegally the right to claim asylum.

The Biden administration said high rates of border arrests has triggered the measures, which took effect immediately but include exceptions for unaccompanied children, people who face serious medical or safety threats and victims of trafficking.

In April, close to 30% of all the Border Patrol arrests across the U.S.-Mexico border were in the San Diego sector, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data showed. So far this fiscal year, which began in October, there have been more than 1.16 million migrant apprehensions border wide.

{snip}

A federal judge on April 3 ordered U.S. border agents to “expeditiously process” any children out of “open air” detention sites. The ruling came in the long-running, court-mandated agreement on the treatment of migrant children in federal custody, known as the Flores settlement.

{snip}

Three men from Jordan said they flew in through Nicaragua, now a hub for migrants heading towards the United States.

They said it was hard to make ends meet in Jordan and they couldn’t get married because they didn’t make enough money. The trip from Nicaragua was hard and they were robbed in Honduras.

{snip}

Alejandro, a 50-year-old Colombian who had to flee after his father was killed and who is afraid to give his full name, hopes the American people will understand their plight.

“Those of us here in this foreign land we are equally human beings … we feel pain and happiness. We hope we are received with warm human qualities and that we are treated like human beings,” and then he added “God made us all.”