This is Senda de Vida, the Path of Life, shelter.
We’re right on the banks of the Rio Grande. There are about 500 people here that are waiting
to go to the United States and request asylum. They want to do it the right way, they say.
They want to go to the bridge and ask an officer with Customs and Border Protection to give
them asylum instead of crossing the river illegally. Some of the people here have been
waiting for months, three months, we’ve heard. We’ve got people from Cuba, people from
Guatemala, Honduras, Cameroon, Haiti, Venezuela. And all of them have the same idea, they want
to go to the United States. Tell me where are you from? And you were kidnapped? Where? Can you show me on your phone what happened? How much money did you have to give
them? A lot of them are afraid of suffering the
same fate that the father and daughter from El Salvador, Oscar and Valeria, what they
experienced. The photo of Oscar and Valeria, of course, went around the world of them lying
face down in the water. But at the same time they’re getting really, really tired of waiting. Another story that we’re hearing from people
is that they’ve been extorted by corrupt officials here in Mexico. And the strong suspicion here
is that it’s all about making money because the people that you see here all represent
a big profit potential for the cartels that move people through here. They’re used to
charging people $1,200 to $1,500 per person. And when people come here and do asylum the
right way they don’t get any money. What do you need and how can people help you?