EL PASO, Texas - A family of eight asylum seekers is waiting at the Paso Del Norte port of entry for an oppurtunity to request asylum in the US.
The family, who asked to be kept anonymous out of concerns for its safety, fled the Mexican state of Michoacan Thursday after being threatened by criminal elements to give up their land.
"They said my children would be given to me in a bag," the mother told ABC-7.
Traveling with six of her seven children and a son-in-law, they arrived in Ciudad Juarez Sunday night, staying at a hotel before attempting to cross into the US and request asylum.
The mother told ABC-7 she left a son back home in Michoacan, not being able to afford the trip for the entire family. She said the son abandoned their land along with the rest of the family and was left in safety.
Monday morning, the family crossed the bridge and was stopped by CBP officers three feet on the American side in the bridge. The family told ABC-7 they asked the officers for asylum. The officers reportedly said their spaces were saturated and the family was instructed to try again at a later time or the next day.
When approached for comment by ABC-7, the family asked if they could be put in contact with an immigration attorney. After calling the attorney, Iliana Holguin, the family attempted to request asylum again.
The family told ABC-7 officers said space could be available later in the day. The family chose to sit on the bridge to wait for clearance from CBP to cross and officially request asylum.
"I don't know how long we'll have to wait or if it'll have to be overnight, but we're going to request asylum and cross legally," the mother said, adding she did not want to wait at the bridge for too long because her 22-year-old daughter is pregnant.
The woman told ABC-7 her youngest son is three years old. "I don't want to be separated from my children," the woman said, adding she knew about families being separated at the border, but didn't think it applied to those seeking asylum.