Giving birth at the border, the desperation of migrants in northern Mexico

Martín Coronado

Ciudad Juárez (Mexico), Sept 16 (EFE) – Desperation is growing among a new wave of migrants at Mexico’s northern border, where the desire to cross into the United States ends with pregnant women giving birth on the line between the two countries.

60 days ago, Erika Lobos, a 20-year-old Guatemalan woman, gave birth on the Mexican side of the Paso del Norte International Bridge while trying to cross into El Paso.

She was about to enter Texas, but when her water broke, US immigration officials returned her to Mexico.

She ended up giving birth to her daughter in a cafeteria on Juárez Avenue, assisted by members of the municipal police because the ambulance was unable to arrive.

Two months after she almost made it to the United States, she is still waiting for a new date to begin her migration process.

“We were about to cross into the United States, but my water broke and they sent me down the bridge and some officers helped me deliver the baby because I couldn’t wait for the ambulance anymore,” Erika told EFE from the Good Samaritan shelter.

“I didn’t want that for my daughter. I wanted her to have a good life, to have her clothes, but it didn’t happen, it pains me because she didn’t have any clothes,” the new Guatemalan mother said.


The flow of migrants through Mexico has resumed after an initial decrease caused by the expiration of Title 42 of the United States in May, as recognized by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Erika’s case reflects the desperation of a new wave of thousands of migrants stranded in Mexico trying to cross into the United States.

In the past two days, hundreds of migrants have tried to make it through the razor-wire barricade along the border in Ciudad Juárez, but agents catch them almost immediately.

Meanwhile, shelters in the city remain full with nearly 2,500 people who have been on the move for several weeks.

Many have waited months for an appointment to begin their migration to the United States.

“They have made the decision to voluntarily surrender (to immigration officials). They come with children, with whole families, and also people who make the journey alone,” said Laura Oropeza, a Venezuelan who crossed the jungle from El Darién to Juárez, one of the current epicenters of migration in Mexico.


Pastor Jorge Castillo, director of the El Buen Samaritano shelter, said that because of the delay in appointments for asylum in the United States, more migrants are daring to cross the Rio Grande and surrender to immigration agents, with all the risks this entails.

“My advice is that in asking there is giving, if they come with an arrogant attitude that they deserve everything, they will create chaos among the authorities and this would even harm the population,” he told EFE.

“My advice is to do things right, it may take time, but it’s safe,” he added.

According to shelter managers, there are more than 2,500 migrants in shelters, more than 1,000 living on the streets and another 4,000 renting a house or in other accommodations.

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