American Chimera

Tijuana, Mexico, Nov. & Dec 2018

Crossing the wall between Mexico and the US and entering America has become the hope of a new life for different generations of Central American migrants, fleeing from organized crime, persecution and violence.

On the afternoon of December 1st, Mirna, Fabiola, Xinia and Dariella with their children, a small part of one of the caravans that traveled hundreds of miles through Mexico from Honduras, crossed the border wall near its western end on the beach near San Diego. Their plan was to apply for asylum, which, by American and international law, anyone physically present in the US is eligible to do.
But beyond the fence, separating them from the rest of the United States, was a further barbed-wire barrier, and armed Border Patrol agents who warned them that if they proceeded they would lose their right to claim asylum - and threatened to arrest them, presumably for child endangerment, if any children received even a scratch from the barbed wire. So the group of migrants decided to turn back to Mexico. Mexican police return the "Honduran Family" to the 'Barretal' shelter in Tijuana where they have been living ten days resting and organizing the next illegal cross. Dariela and his son Eric (7) decided a new attempt of crossing the border near Tijuana's beach but, once more, they did not managed to enter US. On December 10, the whole group decided to pay a smuggler to cross the border wall and hand themselves into Border Patrol agents (USBP) and request asylum once in their custody - a legal practice that, in recent years, had become common, particularly among Central American asylum seekers. Today the "Honduran Family" is safe in the US, waiting for their asylum request to be processed.