NOGALES, Ariz. — Hundreds of migrants from different countries who waiting in Mexico for an appointment to request asylum in the United States attended an informational meeting on Thursday in Nogales, Sonora.
Pedro De Velasco, Director of Education for Kino Border Initiative, conducted the meeting to inform the migrant community about the changes related to the expiration of Title 42, which was in effect for just over three years.
The meeting took place at a shelter run by Kino near Mariposa.
“We are explaining that unfortunately, the restrictive measures will continue because the United States is saying that people who are looking for asylum need to do it through the CBPOne app," De Velasco said. "They have to download the up using their mobile phones.”
“The purpose of the Kino Border Initiative is not to persuade or convince anyone to make certain decisions. The purpose is only to bring information so people can make a better decision about the way they will proceed in their search for asylum."
Around 200 people attended the informational meeting, according to Davila Cisco, one of the meeting's attendants. The vast majority of migrants Cisco has seen in Nogales were from Mexico, but he's also seen an increase in people from other places like Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, Ecuador and Colombia.
Some of the migrants stay at the shelter run by Kino and other shelters around the city, but De Velasco said many are having to pay for their own expenses at rental properties.
Florentina, a woman from Guerrero Mexico, was one of the migrants who attended the meeting. She and her husband have been in Nogales for three weeks while waiting for the opportunity to seek asylum in the US. Running away from the violence in their hometown, they are now working in Nogales to cover their expenses.
“Mexico it’s a beautiful place regardless,” she said.
Zulema, a 22-year-old Venezuelan, traveled alone to the border town seeking asylum. She’s been in Mexico for nine months, six of which she spent in Tapachula, Chiapas.
She traveled to Coahuila where she turned herself into Border Patrol agents, but she was deported. She later tried through Tamaulipas, and she was deported through Nogales, Arizona.
She said she’s not concerned about traveling by herself because she’s found really good people along the way.
Another Venezuelan who attended the meeting was Jose, along his wife and son. They've been in Nogales for two weeks after they tried crossing illegally through Matamoros and were deported. The family said they are running away from their country because of the budding autocracy.
“There are no jobs, the money is not enough, there’s no law,” Jose said.
Get the latest news and updates on the 12News coverage of the U.S./Mexico border.