SAN DIEGO – Eight-month-old Daniel Mendez was dressed in a gray hooded sweatshirt. The bottoms of his white-footed onesie were caked in dirt and grime and he was holding his bottle. He smiled at his father, Joel Mendez, one last time before being pushed under a crudely dug hole at the border wall separating Mexico and the United States.
Honduran migrant Mendez, 22, handed off baby Daniel to his 24-year-old girlfriend Yesenia Martinez, who had climbed under moments earlier, ready to cross onto American soil this past Friday. Mendez didn’t make the risky journey. He stayed behind in Tijuana to work because he said he feared immediate deportation if he’d crossed.
Cradling Daniel, Martinez surrendered to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents waiting for border crossers.
Like Martinez, many Central American migrants — who are frustrated by the asylum process or say they feel unsafe because Mexicans are becoming more hostile towards them — have been taking matters into their own hands. At times, the results have been deadly. – READ MORE