SOMERTON, Arizona (Border Report) — It took Jose Luis about a month to travel from his native Dominican Republic to Somerton, Arizona, where he crossed the border through a wide gap in the border barrier.
When Border Report approached him, he and four of his fellow countrymen were waiting patiently in a line where Border Patrol agents were processing migrants before shuttling them to a facility in Yuma, about 25 miles away.
“It’s cold here,” Jose Luis said in Spanish, referencing the near-freezing temperatures along this part of the southern border.
“If one can earn an opportunity to stay, that’s what we want,” he said., adding that there are few work options, but a lot of violence back home.
“We want to make an honest living, we want a chance at a better life,” he said.
Jose Luis was one of the hundreds of migrants who had reached U.S. soil on this chilly Arizona night.
“You’ll see Russians, Georgians, many Cubans, you’ll see Colombians, today you’ll see Uzbekistan, Peru, Ecuador from every country,” said Fernando Quiroz, a volunteer with the Arizona-California Humanitarian Coalition.
Quiroz and other volunteers handed out snacks, sandwiches and bottled water to migrants like Jose Luis.
They said they see anywhere from 300 to 500 migrants every night.
When asked about Title 42, the directive that has forced thousands of migrants out of the U.S. before they can ask for asylum, Jose Luis said he really didn’t understand it nor did it play a role in his decision to come to the U.S.
His goal is to get to Philadelphia where he has relatives who will take him in.
“With time, I hope to get my paperwork done so I can stay permanently,” he said.