TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — The young Honduran man was worried and you could see it on his face: Clutching his 1-year-old son, he looked back apprehensively toward the barrier he just crossed. He was on…
TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — The young Honduran man was worried and you could see it on his face: Clutching his 1-year-old son, he looked back apprehensively toward the barrier he just crossed. He was on U.S. soil and he knew that he didn’t have authorization to be there.
It was the middle of the night Thursday at the U.S.-Mexico border, next to the first of two U.S border fences separating Tijuana from San Diego, and an Associated Press photographer was there to capture the moment the man, holding his toddler close, decided to take a chance, looking for a different, better life than the one he had back in Honduras or in a bleak, overcrowded shelter in Tijuana. He knew he would likely be arrested, but it seemed worth the risk if he was able to apply for asylum in the U.S.
As Mexican officials try to move the more than 6,000 Central Americans packed into the open-air sports complex next to the border to a facility 10 miles (15 kilometers) from the nearest crossing, desperation has mounted among the migrants who arrived in Tijuana more than two weeks ago.
Several migrants swam around or climbed over the border barrier overnight and were quickly detained.
But the young man, his son bundled up against the night chill in a hooded jacket, leggings and boots, waited and when he saw an opportunity, he climbed over the border barrier as people on the Mexican side held his son, then handed the child through the bars. After a swift look back, he disappeared into the night, walking up a slope toward a second barrier wall on the U.S. side.
Not far away, at a different part of the border crossing, six men and a woman jumped or slipped over the border barrier in Tijuana and were quickly detained by U.S. customs and border protection agents.
Another Honduran man took a bolder decision. He tried to swim to the U.S. side but quickly got in trouble in the rough waters of the Pacific.
A Mexican rescue team forcibly pulled the soaked man ashore, after he apparently wanted to make another attempt, and put him into an ambulance.