NOGALES, Sonora — Hundreds of migrants have arrived at the Port of Entre Dennis DeConcini in Nogales to request asylum, Mexican authorities said. Many people without appointments decided to show up after a rumor has been going around about Customs and Border Protection receiving migrants to start the asylum process without a previous appointment.
When Title 42 came to an end on May 11, very few migrants were seen close to the ports of entry, especially that one. But a rumor started going around that migrants who arrived at the port of entry without a previous appointment were allowed to get into the United States and that caused over 200 to show up with the same purpose.
Celia Lopez, from Morelos, said she arrived at the DeConcini port of entry around 7 a.m. on Monday with her four children, 14, 11, 8 and 2 years old. She mentioned that she and her kids spent the night in line. She said that she doesn’t have an appointment but that a girl told her that she was able to cross to the US because the girl called her to let her know she was in Arizona.
The family has been in Nogales, Sonora for about nine months staying at a “cuartito” (small room) where they were allowed to stay.
After 24 hours, Lopez and her children were still there hoping to be able to request asylum. She said she’ll stay there until something is resolved.
Cesar Leon Ruiz, chief of Proteccion Civil (city agency coordinating help for residents) informed that over the weekend everything was under control, and it’s been like that even as the number of people has been increasing.
He said that 75 adults and 49 children were counted in one area, while it was followed by about another 130 people at a different one.
“Federal, state and local authorities have been paying close attention along with the Mexican Consulate in Nogales, Arizona to make sure everything is under control,” Leon Ruiz added.
Also paying close attention to the situation is Guadalupe Gonzalez, coordinator with the Red Cross from Mexico. She said they’re there to assist anyone who needs it.
Gonzalez shared that they had provided diapers, and medicine, among other products to the people in line.
She added that a woman was taken to a hospital due to respiratory complications.
The Red Cross is providing services 24 hours a day.
Another migrant without an appointment at the port of entry was Fernando Nava, who is from Guerrero and has been in Nogales, Sonora for about three months.
“I think they’re giving people access without an appointment,” Nava said. He and his wife have been at the port of entry since Monday.
“Someone came out and took notes according to how we were lined up and now other people came in and got in front of us,” mentioned Nava a bit upset. He said their final destination is Atlanta, Georgia.
Edith Serrano, a public information officer for CBP talked to 12News over the phone and confirmed that they’re taking migrants without appointments.
She added that they encourage people to schedule an appointment that way they don’t have to wait for hours or days. She said whoever has an appointment has priority and will be seen first. If they have the availability, others who are waiting without appointments will be seen, she added.