On Monday, the frustrations of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border waiting to hear about a decision made over their plea for asylum boiled over, and many started climbing over the fence.
As reported by Business Insider, migrants have been stuck in the border city of Tijuana, and on Monday Reuters journalists witnessed over two dozen of them climb over the 10-foot-high fence in under an hour. At present, the border at Tijuana is protected by a fence made of thick sheets and pillars of metal.
While many of those hopping the fence immediately surrendered themselves to officials on the U.S. side who were waiting to take them into custody under floodlights, a small group tried to run to avoid capture. They were hoping that climbing over the fence would allow them to apply for asylum more quickly since they are now on U.S. soil.
The migrant caravan full of Central Americans, mostly from Honduras, have been traveling north since mid-October and were all planning on seeking asylum in the U.S. as they face violence and persecution in their home countries. Most people on the journey have walked most of the way, hoping to find a better life for them and their children.
U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly blasted the migrant caravan, accusing them of bringing with them dangerous men, drug dealers, and people from the Middle East, and vowed to refuse them entry into the country. In his first move to do so, one that has largely been hailed as a political stunt ahead of the elections last month, he sent almost 5,000 troops to the border in anticipation of the caravan’s arrival.
At this stage, Trump is pushing for a procedural change, so far denied by the courts, that would require asylum seekers to remain in Mexico until their cases can be heard.
So far, he has been able to deny them entry, and thousands of migrants have been stuck in squalid camps in Tijuana as they wait for their chance to hear if they will be allowed to realize the famed American dream. Some have become so frustrated with the wait and the conditions under which they have been expected to do so, that last night as dusk fell, they chose an isolated spot approximately 1,500 feet from the ocean to make their bid for a better life, knowing that they ran a great risk of being detained when they did.
Three thin migrants were able to squeeze themselves through the border fence and were quickly taken into custody. Others, traveling with children, used ropes and a blanket to get little ones over the fence. One mother and her children were able to escape after scaling the fence.