A 19-year-old Honduran woman has described giving birth to her second child, after climbing the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Tijuana, to be a very rewarding experience.
Maryury Elizabeth Serrano-Hernandez, went into labor on Nov. 27, less than 24-hours after she landed on the U.S. side of the border wall with her family.
Serrano-Hernandez is believed to be the first woman of the migrant caravan to give birth after crossing the U.S. border, reported the Daily Mail.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Serrano-Hernandez, along with her 20-year-old husband and 2-year-old son, were arrested on Nov. 26 after illegally crossing the border.
After complaining of abdominal pain, border patrol agents took the mother to a local hospital, a spokesperson for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection told the Daily Mail.
After giving birth to a baby boy, the family returned to the detention center where they stayed until Dec. 1, pending the outcome of their immigration cases. They are now being housed by a family before they can move to Columbus, Ohio where they will continue their asylum proceedings at court.
According to Univision, Serrano-Hernandez and her family started their journey in mid-October while she was heavily pregnant. Upon climbing over the border wall, she declined the immigration officer’s request to return to Tijuana but instead turned themselves in, according to the Daily Mail.
Serrano-Hernandez told Univision that giving birth in the U.S. was a “big reward” for the grueling journey.
Thousands of Migrants Wait in Tijuana
U.S. inspectors at the main border crossing in San Diego are processing up to about 100 asylum claims a day, leaving thousands of migrants waiting in Tijuana. Some are crossing illegally and avoiding the wait.
Thousands of migrants have taken up residence in Tijuana, and the vast majority of them are staying at the Benito Juarez sports complex, an outdoor recreation area.
Of the more than 6,100 migrants staying in the temporary shelter run by the city of Tijuana, 3,936 were men, 1,147 were women, and 1,068 children.
Scores of pregnant women traveled with the caravan through Mexico before reaching the U.S. border. In Pijijiapan in the southern state of Chiapas, Dr. Jesus Miravete, who volunteered his services in the town’s plaza, said he treated a few dozen pregnant women, including 16 for dehydration after being on the road for weeks.
In October, a Guatemalan woman gave birth to the first known caravan baby at a hospital in Juchitan. Mexico’s governmental National Human Rights Commission said it had arranged for medical attention for the woman, who was 38 weeks pregnant, and the girl was healthy.
Health Concerns Linger in Tijuana
Tijuana’s Health Department also warned on Nov. 29 that of the 6,100 migrants in the city, about a third have health complaints such as chickenpox, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and skin infections.
Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum said earlier that same week the city didn’t have much money allocated to help migrants.
The city’s Treasurer, Ricardo Chavarria, said the city spends about $30,000 a day on caravan arrivals.
“We won’t compromise the resources of the residents of Tijuana,” Mayor Gastélum said. “We won’t raise taxes tomorrow to pay for today’s problem.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.