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Migrants at border say they’re waiting days without food

Surge in migrants expected next week, troops being deployed
Posted at 7:08 PM, May 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-03 22:13:01-04

TIJUANA RIVER VALLEY — Dozens of migrants sat behind a wall Wednesday along the U.S.-Mexico border as they waited to be picked up for asylum processing.

Some of the migrants said they’d been behind the fence for several days and have come from countries around the world.

“We don’t have any food. We don’t have water,” Harvey Tejeda, 21, told ABC 10’s Austin Grabish.

Border patrol agents are bracing for even bigger crowds of migrants at the border as Title 42 is set to expire next Thursday.

The Trump-era emergency powers let border officials quickly turn away more than two million migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Agents could simply send someone back to Mexico or their country of origin.

A group of migrants speak to a border patrol agent behind a border wall on Wednesday.

It’s not entirely clear how local agents will handle asylum seekers after Title 42 ends next week.

Tejeda said he came to Tijuana from Columbia and had been sleeping behind the fence for six nights and had no food or connection to the outside world after his phone died.

He said he flew from Columbia to Mexico City and then traveled to Tijuana. Once in the city, he told Grabish he paid a smuggler to help him jump a border wall.

He stood in front of a second wall on U.S. soil on Wednesday where he explained why he was coming to America.

“I am coming to America (for) security. In my country, it’s not security. Columbia is nice to be, city nice to tourists but for the Colombians are so dangerous.”

Tejeda said there were about 100 migrants at the wall he was waiting at Wednesday morning, but many moved to other sections by the afternoon.

He said border patrol took women and children away for processing two days ago, but dozens of men remained behind the wall Wednesday afternoon.

By 6 p.m. Wednesday, a border patrol officer had come in a van to transport the remaining migrants.

The White House announced on Tuesday it would send 1,500 troops to the southern border ahead of the expected surge in migrants.

Customs and Border Protection declined an interview request with ABC 10News on Wednesday.