By Mike Blake
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – Hundreds of migrants, including families, from Africa, Asia and Latin America gathered on Tuesday between the two massive border barriers that separate the United States and Mexico near San Diego, a scene reminiscent of an earlier gathering in May.
Aid workers and advocates handed out food to people between the reddish-brown metal slats and prioritized feeding the children, while they waited to be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Reuters images show people queuing around U.S. border patrol officers as they give directions.
“The developments of the numbers that we are seeing began on Tuesday, Wednesday of last week,” said Adriana Jasso, a human rights advocate at the American Friends Service Committee.
“We were hoping that they would be able to move quickly by the agency, provided the experience from May. Yet we have a situation of hundreds of people again waiting in between the two barriers.”
In May, a COVID-era provision known as Title 42 that blocked most asylum seekers from legal entry to the United States expired, prompting hundreds to camp out between the same barriers while waiting for processing by U.S. authorities.
Jasso called the new crowd an “unofficial gathering of the United Nations.”
“We have people from all over the globe. We have people from Cameroon; we have people from West Africa; we have people from Colombia. We have people from Peru, from Ecuador, some from Mexico,” Jasso said. “And we also have seen a high number of people from Asian countries and specifically from Vietnam.”
Hassan Hamza from Ghana has been traveling for six weeks and started off from Brazil by land.
“It’s not easy. Africa is hard for us, so that’s why we are running out for rescuing, you know,” Hamza said, while adding “America is the land of opportunity. And we are here to get a good future. We run from the persecution that we are after.”
(Reporting by Mike Blake and Jane Ross; Editing by Mary Milliken and Aurora Ellis)