SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — About three weeks ago, Nicolas Diego decided he had enough of living at a migrant campsite just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana and decided to take matters into his own hands.
“There was no security, no police, it was difficult there with children,” said Diego, who is from Guatemala.
Diego, his wife and two small children got on a bus and headed for Reynosa, Mexico just south of McAllen, Texas
That’s where they crossed the border after paying a smuggler $850 per person.
They expected to be apprehended almost immediately. Instead, they walked for five and a half hours until Border Patrol agents found them. Diego and his family asked for asylum.
Initially, they were taken to a Border Patrol station for processing, then to his surprise, they were “let go.”
“This bus came and we got in, and they took us to a hotel in Edinburg,” Diego said.
After less than 10 days at the hotel, Diego says their COVID-19 tests came back negative, and they were given the option of leaving and being sent to live with relatives.
“I have relatives in Nebraska, Atlanta and Los Angeles,” said Diego, who picked Southern California for the weather.
Within days, he says he lined up a job doing electrical work for a company and even took out a loan to buy a car.
“The dream that I had was to get in the U.S. to work and for some better future for my family and for my kids,” said Diego. “We were looking to get into the U.S. legally but they didn’t let us so we jumped the border so they could give us a chance.”
Diego and his family are now awaiting the asylum process to unfold.
“Now I’m in the U.S. now … on the freeways from the United States, seeing flags, seeing people, it’s a different country and it makes me so happy, makes me happy.”