A trio of Venezuelan migrants who illegally entered the United States endured a difficult first few days in Texas, sleeping on rainy streets and attempting to scrape together enough money to travel somewhere for work.
Ana Gabriela Garcia, her husband, and their travel companion Edgar Rodriguez detailed their first week in the United States after admitting they put everything on the line to cross the border illegally after Title 42 was unexpectedly extended.
“We came illegally through a gate in the border wall,” Garcia told The Post during an interview in an El Paso church on Thursday. “We know the risks … pros and cons, but we have to make the sacrifice.”
When we first encountered the three migrants in Juarez, Mexico on Tuesday, they were among thousands of people waiting at the Mexican border to legally enter the United States as Title 42 was set to expire on December 21. They intended to apply for asylum.
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Instead, the government policy that has allowed the US Border Patrol to detain asylum-seeking migrants such as Venezuelans has been extended. The prolongation meant that Venezuelan migrants might still be deported from the United States and sent back to Mexico.
The three have to choose between crossing into the US illegally now or waiting until June for US courts to rule on the future of Title 42. They argued that waiting in Mexico was not an option.
The trio sneaked into the United States on Wednesday night.
Garcia stated in El Paso on Thursday that she is eager to work in order to give money back to her three girls, ages 2, 6, and 9, whom she left behind in Venezuela.
“We have thought … we may get deported while traveling, but we have to try,” the migrant mom said. “We decided to make the sacrifice for them so they didn’t have to live through this, because it hasn’t been easy.
“Santa didn’t come this year. The girls are afraid we left them behind.”
The three have $50 saved up and are trying to save enough for a bus ticket to either Dallas or Denver. Because of their illegal status, they are unable to legally travel by airline or bus.
“We have jobs waiting for us in Denver — we just need to be able to get there,” Garcia said.
Garcia’s feet were bruised from walking for weeks from Venezuela to the United States, through the famed and dangerous Darien Gap and many countries to reach the US-Mexico border.
Rodriguez, her trip partner, stated he was assaulted by a monkey in the bush and was willing to do anything to receive help.
“He dropped down from the trees while we sleeping and went for my foot,” Rodriguez said. “I got medical attention just to close the wound but still need to be checked out.”
El Paso Deputy City Manager Mario D’Agostino predicts that the number of illegal immigrants will increase now that the US Supreme Court has upheld Title 42. While the city has funds to lodge lawfully recognized asylum seekers, unauthorized migrants like as Garcia, her husband, and Rodriguez have no where to go.
Migrants who have not been verified by federal authorities have begun camping on the streets of downtown El Paso, among legal migrants, in frigid temperatures with just blankets for warmth.
Garcia, her husband, and Rodriguez slept on the chilly streets in the rain on Thursday night.
“If they continue to get in undetected, we’re going to continue to have this population grow within this community,” said D’Agostino.
According to him, only the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have the legal ability to detain illegal immigrants.
“We’re reaching out with all our partners, our federal partners, because at the end of the day is a process, a process that everyone needs to follow and we really need to make this sustainable for everybody.”
The Border Patrol confirmed to The Post that it is aware of the situation, citing the apprehension of illegal aliens on commercial buses north of El Paso.
The 60 illegal immigrants who had boarded three buses and blended in with legitimate migrants were halted at a Border Patrol station north of El Paso where cars are inspected.
According to Border Patrol agents, the illegal migrants were separated and imprisoned.