NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) - There are 327 men, women and children in Nogales, Sonora waiting to file asylum claims according to Father Sean Carroll, the executive director of the Kino Border Initiative.
More arrive every day but not from the caravan which left Central America and arrived in Tijuana, California last week.
Although 47 migrants from the LGBTQ community in Honduas arrived in Nogales, Sonora, it isn’t known yet if they were part of the caravan.
“Except for the people who came last night, I know two people who came to us from the caravan,” Father Carroll said. “So the caravan hasn’t been a large number yet.”
Carroll believes some will come from Tijuana but how many is impossible to estimate.
It’s being reported that state political leaders in Mexico may urge some members of the migrant caravan to travel to other ports of entry to apply for asylum. That’s because at the current rate of migration hearings, it would take months to process all the claims in Tijuana.
Father Carroll says that customs is able to process up to 20 claims a day in Nogales but has been lower than that recently.
Still, discussions have been ongoing about what to do if there is an increase at the Nogales Port of Entry.
Nogales city council member Marcelino Varona said he was not aware of any preparations underway in the city to handle a bump in immigrants if that materializes.
According to Father Carroll, assistance could be mobilized quickly if there are signs the number of asylum seekers increases significantly and it would be a coordinated effort.
“We would have to look at shelter, we’d have to look at food, if they need medical attention and legal support,” he said.
Father Carroll has not talked to the group of 47 that just arrived, but said he expected to in the next few days. He believes they will be seeking asylum.
The Kino Initiative can provide legal advice because he said “so many of the people who arrive don’t know what the procedure it.”
Meantime, U.S. soldiers dispatched to the border are continuing to add razor wire west of the DeConcini Port of Entry.