At least two dozen Central American migrants -- who claim they're disillusioned and frustrated with the asylum-seeking process -- breached the U.S.-Mexico border Monday just before dusk by scaling a 10-foot metal fence, witnesses say.
They were observed using blankets and ropes to help climb over the structure separating California from Tijuana, where thousands of migrants have been gathering in recent days. Other migrants managed to squeeze through a section of the fence on the coastal city's beach, according to Reuters.
Some migrants reportedly tried to escape capture by the U.S. Border Patrol, but most were caught. It remains unclear Tuesday how many of the migrants -- if any at all -- managed to escape detention.
Karen Mayeni, a 29-year-old Honduran mother with three children between six and 12 years old, told Reuters she was only observing others penetrating the border and was “waiting to see what happens.” The woman will decide her family's next action “in a couple of days,” she said.
About 90 minutes later, however, she and her children were seen on the U.S. side of the border, Reuters reported.
The migrants in Tijuana are part of the numerous caravans that traveled through Mexico in an effort to enter the U.S. – some planning to do so illegally, others legally by applying for asylum – citing issues such as rampant violence and sluggish job markets in their home countries.
But the plans were curbed by the Trump administration’s decision to send troops to protect the border from illegal entry and impose a new policy that requires every migrant seeking asylum to remain in Mexico, where their case will be heard. That rule was struck down last month by a federal judge.