In border city, asylum seekers forced to wait band together


In this May 5, 2019 photo, migrant kids play near tents as they wait to cross the border in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico, and Arizona. The tent slots are for families about to be called, allowing them to be ready on a moment’s notice. (AP Photo/Elliot Spagat)

SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Mexico (AP) – Thousands of asylum seekers are waiting for months in Mexico before they can start seeking protections in the United States.

In San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico, south of San Luis, Arizona, over 950 people are on a waitlist to claim asylum. They’ve banded together to ensure everyone has a fair shot.

They take shifts monitoring a table along the border. They collect money to pay for water and snacks for those on watch and pass the day chatting.

A Trump administration policy forcing people to wait in Mexico means they don’t get an interview with an asylum officer for months.

Their fate is uncertain after the administration this week said it was banning migrants from seeking asylum if they pass through another country first.

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The mission of is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.