Julia Hermosa Gamarra and her husband and 13-year-old daughter raced through reeds and bushes along the Mexican border with Arizona late Thursday, running as fast as they could to make it across the Colorado River and into the United States at midnight before Title 42 expires. They reached the boundary wall a few minutes late.
As they waited for a bus to detain her and about five dozen other migrants, Gamara, 49, worried she would be sent back under a new policy from the Biden administration that says Anyone arriving without using a valid route is considered. to be ineligible for asylum.
“They’re going to deport us,” Ms. Gamara said, crying and holding her husband’s hand. “They won’t let us in.”
The family said they were fleeing violence and death threats in the Peruvian city of Ayacucho, where security forces recently killed protesters. Ms Gamara said her father was killed by guerrillas in the 1980s, and she worried her family would be targeted.
“We had to drop everything – everything, everything, everything,” she said. “If we go back, we will be killed.”
US officials are bracing for the prospect of a huge increase in the number of people crossing the southern border with the expiration of Title 42, a pandemic-era policy allowing for the rapid deportation of many asylum seekers.
But the policy’s end at midnight passed mostly quietly, and Homeland Security officials said the situation at the border Friday morning was busy but not chaotic. If anything, fewer migrants were visible than those seen over the past few days.
Here are some scenes along the border:
A gap in the border wall in Yuma, Ariz., was unusually quiet at sunrise on Friday, with no migrants waiting to be picked up. By midnight, more than 100 migrants had crossed over the gap.
At the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge, Customs and Border Protection officers were processing a small line of people from Reynosa, Mexico during the early morning hours, many of them locals who regularly cross the border to work or shop We do.
Newly arrived immigrants turned away from a crowded Catholic Charities shelter in McAllen were crossing the street to the city’s bus station for relief from the extreme South Texas heat and to use the restroom. Some new arrivals said they were told that priority was being given to women with children at the shelter.
Between 15 and 20 migrants, some wrapped in blankets, were in the narrow strip of land between the border wall and the Rio Grande in El Paso on Friday morning, waiting to pass through Gate 42 of the border wall. Around 40 migrants who had already passed through the gate were being patted down by officials and put on a bus to be taken for screening at a processing centre.
A group of about 50 migrants, including Colombians and Venezuelans, lined up at a legal border crossing in Matamoros, Mexico, to cross into Brownsville, Texas. Many made asylum interview appointments with US officials, arranged through the Border Patrol’s new smartphone app, and were smiling in relief. The crowd sometimes cheers and claps at this news. One of those waiting in line was Natalia Andrea Vergel García, a Colombian woman who told The New York Times earlier in the week that she had fled her country after being raped by a paramilitary group that also killed her two daughters. Tried to rape.
Hundreds of migrants camped out Friday morning on the US side of a wall separating Tijuana and San Diego, many of them wrapped in mylar blankets and sitting together under cloudy skies. Some Border Patrol officers were talking to him in the camp. There was no significant increase in the number of migrants overnight. A group of six migrants from Colombia arrived at the camp from Tijuana on Friday morning and began searching for a tarpaulin to set up a tent after learning they might have to wait several days to be processed.
Brian Piar, a Venezuelan, crossed the border just after midnight and headed with other migrants to the Department of Homeland Security’s makeshift processing center in Brownsville. His trousers were still soaked with mud as he limped along the dark embankment as Border Patrol agents celebrated his arrival.
Victoria Kim, eileen sullivan And maria abi-habib Contributed reporting.