“We can’t enter, we don’t understand the new system,” complained Wendy Pérez Peña, 31, who left Venezuela in March to escape poverty.
Jason Rodriguez Jesus Salas, 27, shook his head in frustration.
“They haven’t updated it well, they should update it better,” he said.
None of the group of 11 could get an appointment on Thursday.
Elsewhere along the border, under the burning sun in Reynosa, Mexico, across from McAllen, Texas, Osiris Yamillet Ochoa, 20, was trying repeatedly to secure an appointment through the app.
On Thursday afternoon, she opened it once again and found it written in Spanish, “Wait for appointment”.
“Everyone is trying to get to the United States, but we’ve heard that if you cross before your appointment date, it could be considered illegal crossing and it could hurt our case,” Ms. Ochoa said she stopped selling gum in the streets to buy milk for her 8-month-old daughter, Milagros. “I don’t want to risk it. We are here for three months. We can wait a few more days.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas denied there was a widespread technical glitch with the CBP One app. “We are using it very effectively,” he said on Thursday. The problem, he said, was a lack of staffing resources to schedule as many interviews as needed.