NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) - As regular crossers make their way into United States at the Deconcini Port of Entry, families sleep on the ground steps away in hopes of seeking asylum.
Teenagers, mothers and their children have set up camp with the help of a variety of organizations.
Volunteers tell Tucson News Now they had to step in after an influx of asylum-seekers about a month ago
The families arrived from different countries in hopes their case is strong enough to gr ant them asylum.
Volunteers said only about 10 families are allowed to wait outside the port at a time. The rest stay in Mexican shelters and move into the line as families are processed.
One of the families waiting is Guadalupe Arcos and her two young boys, Jesus and Aldo. She left the Mexican state of Guerrero, saying the gangs made life difficult.
"We came here 10 days ago," she said. "That's when give or take, in those days, when it all started, the shootings."
When she got word about families being separated, she planned to return home.
"I don't imagine my life without my sons," she said. "In fact, yesterday I was planning to return. Well, because two days ago they announced that they were separating the kids from their parents and yesterday they told us that not anymore."
After spending several days in shelters, it was her turn to line up at the port. She's hoping she will be called soon.
"To protect them from the crime, so it doesn't catch them too," she said speaking about her sons.
Also waiting, is another woman.
She was too afraid to tell us her name but was willing to share her story. She arrived at the port on Thursday with her son.
She said she left Guatemala following the volcano eruption.
She described a life of poverty in her home country and hopes she's gr anted asylum so her son can study in the U.S. She's expecting to wait five to 10 days for an interview.
If allowed in the U.S., both women plan to meet up with family members.