TIJUANA, BAJA CALIFORNIA.– María Guadalupe Cruz has been trying every day since January to get on the Biden administration’s electronic waitlist, so she could seek asylum in the United States for her and her family.
The 32-year-old mother left Honduras in 2021 with her husband and two children after local gangs tried charging a “war tax” on her home that she couldn’t pay, she said.
Organized criminal gangs fighting for territory near San Pedro Sula, the northern city where Cruz’s family lived, have progressed from extorting protection money from businesses to collecting it from households, she said.
“I told them I couldn’t pay, so they gave me 24 hours to abandon the country,” she recently told CalMatters, at the Tijuana shelter where her family lives in a tent. “And they said if we ever came back, they’d kill us all.”
The family had traveled along the northern border of Mexico, trying to find an access point where they could legally approach the United States to seek asylum.
Now it’s up to technology. The Biden Administration requires asylum seekers to seek asylum appointments through its CBP One smartphone app.
But so far Cruz, like thousands of others, has been unable to get an appointment through the Customs and Border Protection’s app using her cell phone. Mexican and U.S. authorities are blocking people without appointments from even approaching land ports of entry, contributing to increased risks at the Mexico-California border.
Source: Desert Sun