TIJUANA (Border Report) — Since the end of Title 42 on May 11, migrants have been told the only way to get into the U.S. for an asylum interview is to secure an appointment via the CBP One app.
But it appears some migrants have found a loophole in the requirement and have begun camping out at the San Ysidro Port of Entry waiting for access to the U.S.
Migrants like Cesar Segura, are claiming the technology used by the CBP One online system for appointments is faulty, thus giving him and others a reason to ask for an appointment in person at ports of entry such as San Ysidro.
“The application, as is, it’s just not working, we thought it would be better, but if anything it’s gotten slower,” said Segura. “One is able to come to a port of entry without an appointment for processing.”
Technically, according to a DHS provision, Segura is right.
Migrants are allowed to seek entry into the U.S. at a port of entry if they can’t use the CBP One app due “to language barriers, illiteracy or technical issues.”
Segura tells Border Report he decided to come to the border after repeated failed attempts to get an appointment via the app.
Judging by the long line, many migrants are becoming aware of this loophole and are camping out along the pedestrian lanes leading into the border crossing from Tijuana.
Many can be seen walking up to CBP officers who take down names and nationalities.
“I’ve seen some families going in already without appointments,” said Segura. “I’m going to stay here as long as it takes to be seen by U.S. personnel.”
The Department of Homeland Security revamped the system as Title 42 came to an end adding more appointments, up to 1,000 per day.
But DHS is discouraging Segura and others from lining up saying the system is working for “99 percent of migrants who apply online.”
DHS wants migrants to be patient and to continue trying for an appointment on the CBP One app.
But some migrants say sitting in line at the port of entry is a better strategy, although one migrant from Honduras, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he felt customs officers are giving preferential treatment to family units.
“Families are getting in, but if you’re a man, alone, they’ll just make you wait,” he said.
Along with Segura, who is from Venezuela, there were migrants waiting in line from places such as Guatemala, Colombia, Russia, Soviet Georgia, and Asia.
In the past, migrants have also lined up at the port of entry hoping to gain access before the City of Tijuana pushes them out.
So far, the city has not shown indications of wanting to disperse the migrants although police officers can be seen counting and answering questions from migrants.