Many of the estimated 6,000 migrants from Central America living in a makeshift shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, are preparing to return home, expressing regret for making the arduous journey.
Carlos González, who traveled north with his wife and two children, ages 4 and 3, told the Daily Beast he “thought it would be easy” to gain entry into the United States.
Now, said the 40-year-old corn farmer, the plan is to sign up with Mexican officials for voluntary repatriation.
“We’re here alone, hungry, unprotected. My daughter is sick with diarrhea,” he said. “I don’t want to lose my kids, lose my life.”
Gonzalez set out from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on Oct. 12.
Fox News reported about 80 migrants self-deported Tuesday. Another 98 were deported by Mexican immigration officials for pushing past police barricades and trying to cross the U.S. frontier on Sunday.
Fewer than 100 migrants a day are allowed to approach the border crossing and obtain an interview to seek asylum.
Of the 6,062 total in Tijuana, according to officials, 3,877 men are men, 1,127 are women and 1,058 are children. By their own accounts, the majority apparently are economic migrants who don’t qualify for asylum, which requires a “credible fear” of persecution.
Local officials say another 2,000 in nearby Mexicali are expected to make their way toward Tijuana this week.
But Fox News said the migrants “are tired, restless and growing frustrated by the reality that it’s proving much more difficult to get across the border than they had anticipated.”
A member of Tijuana’s local government, Delegate Genaro Lopez Moreno, said, according to Fox News, that it’s costing the municipality $30,000 to $40,000 dollars a day to take care of the migrants.
He blames the caravan organizers, who he believes sold the migrants a false hope.
“The leaders that were promising them the great American Dream aren’t coming through,” Moreno said.
The migrants, he added, “know they’re going to be better off going back home.”
Some have chosen to accept temporary work and asylum from Mexico, Fox News said. But most hang on to the hope of entering the U.S.
Luis Conde of Guatemala vowed to cross the border whether legally or not.
“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “I got no choice. I got to work for a living.”