Migrant presence spikes at U.S.-Mexico border

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SAN DIEGO — Groups of asylum seekers are lining up at the border between Tijuana and San Diego once more. There was a rush of asylum seekers when Title 42 was lifted in May. The surge slowed but now a bit of an uptick of people waiting at the border wall is happening again. 

Immigration rights advocates say there are a few factors playing into this recent rise.

“Border patrol does have the responsibility of intaking those individuals and insuring they’re not waiting hours or days out in the open and responding to their medical needs and process them,” said Pedro Rios, an immigration rights advocate.

He says transportation is an issue. Migrants aren’t always picked up by border patrol in a timely manner. The CBP 1 app is causing some problems as well. Migrants are asked to use the app to start the asylum-seeking process. However, many of their phones don’t have technology to use it.

“We’re seeing people charging asylum seekers to make an appointment so now they’re subject to different types of exploitation for people who are fleeing for their lives,” he said.

 Language barriers also pose a problem. The app only works in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.

“There are a lot of errors people are seeing with the application. It’s just not the right way to welcome people with dignity when they’re fleeing harm. They should be able to show up and it’s their legal right to show up and want an asylum claim,” he said.

Once asylum seekers get to the U.S., finding temporary housing can be challenging. Many migrant shelters are full.

“Certainly is a feeling of being overwhelmed with the shelter networks but they’re doing what they can. They’re up to capacity from what I understand but meeting the needs of the people they’re tending to,” he said.

Advocates want the federal government to supply more resources so that organizations can keep up with the demand.

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