Migrants Breach the U.S. Border Fence in a Bid for Asylum

December 4, 2018, 1:17 PM UTC

Dozens of Central American migrants, frustrated by weeks of waiting in squalid camps, went over the 10-foot border fence at Tijuana last night, according to Reuters.

Choosing a spot at dusk where the fence was lower, just over a quarter mile from the Pacific, eventually roughly two dozen people had gone over. Another three managed to squeeze themselves through a narrow space in the fence.

Some migrants helped each other over, using blankets as ropes. At least one mother with three children were among those who crossed over.

A second taller fence past a hill kept them from reaching California, creating an area heavily guarded by border patrols. Although a few tried to escape, most walked over to the officials to turn themselves in.

Thousands of migrants have been waiting for a chance to apply for asylum. The U.S. says it can process up to 100 people a day at the Tijuana crossing, UPI reports. Reuters said that the number can be as low as 40.

Some of the people seek economic opportunity but many tell of death threats. Even having entered illegally, chances are that those who did will receive asylum hearings more quickly.

In October there was an attempted fence breach at the Mexico-Guatemala border, as thousands of migrants tried to head north, reported the Associated Press.

The desperation of many drives them to take a perilous journey. An AP count puts the number of migrants who have died or gone missing during the last four years at almost 4,000, and that count may be low. It is 1,573 higher than a United Nations estimate.

AP, using a variety of sources, also estimated the number of migrants dead or missing worldwide at 56,800.