TIJUANA, Mexico—Honduran Marco Gómez, 26, arrived in Tijuana on the evening of Nov. 22, and slept under a bridge just yards from the El Chaparral pedestrian entrance to the United States.
He was with a larger group of migrants who said they wanted to send a message to President Donald Trump “to open the gates.”
Gómez said the plan is to wait until an expected 20,000 migrants arrive in Tijuana and then enter the United States en masse.
“We’ll stay together and be strong, and then move on to the U.S.,” he said. “Peacefully, like people going from one country to another. Marching.”
He said they plan to enter through the vehicle lanes at San Ysidro, because “it’s more spacious.”
Gómez, who said he was a construction worker in Honduras, said he is not sure if he will apply for asylum.
“It’s a waste of time. It’s a process that takes months and years—it’s a long time.”
Another Honduran migrant that also camped near the border entry said his mother and his sister already made it to the United States several months ago and he plans to join them.
Frank Martinez who is traveling with his father, said they will cross illegally.
“I personally, and I know many people will attempt to do the same thing—it’s to cross illegally. I will enter illegally,” he said.
“Because we want a better life, and I’m in a hurry.”
He said Mexico has offered him asylum, but he won’t take it.
“It’s not my intention, to stay here, in this country. My intention is the United States.”
New plans are being made by the migrants continuously, and it’s difficult to get clear information.
However, in a video published on the Pueblo Sin Fronteras Facebook page—an open-borders group helping organize the migrants—a group of migrants at the sports complex in Tijuana can be heard saying they plan to try crossing en masse into the United States on Sunday, Nov. 25.
“The best day to go to the bridge—peacefully, not with violence—is on Sunday. And write banners with our points,” one leader is heard saying. “And we don’t want the media to publish this before we do it.”
The crowd can be heard cheering loudly when they are told that they can still apply for asylum if they cross illegally into the United States.
On Nov. 19, a federal judge overturned a presidential proclamation from Nov. 9, that said no illegal border crossers will be eligible for general asylum (other types of asylum would still be available, but require a higher burden of proof).
“We have two ways to seek political asylum in the United States—entering illegally or entering through the gate. But we need to go all, all of us,” a leader says in the video. “We do understand how we want to cross—illegally.”
The leaders stressed they wanted to enter peacefully.
Kimberly Hayak contributed to this report.