Scalabrini Father Pat Murphy was talking to a reporter by telephone a few days ago when he got a text message in Spanish: “Is the border open?” He gets a lot of those queries.
“No” is the correct answer. But that’s not the message many got.
On Feb. 16, the Biden administration announced it would process existing applications for asylum from migrants that had gotten slow action from the Trump administration. Yet something got lost in translation for many people in gang-ridden southern Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, including thousands who have trekked north in recent weeks looking to get into the United States.
“The only thing people heard in the south is ‘The border’s open,’” said Father Murphy, of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, who runs a shelter called Casa del Migrante, in Tijuana, a Mexican city just south of the border with California. “And it’s only open for a select group of people, people who’ve been waiting for a couple of years.” …