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Pictures | Wed Dec 19, 2018 | 4:15am IST

Migrant family who fled tear gas at U.S. border seeks asylum

Maria Meza, a 40-year-old migrant woman from Honduras, holds her daughter as she waits at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California to be processed as an asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Members of a group of Honduran migrants, which included a mother who had been photographed running with her daughters from tear gas several weeks ago, began seeking asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico on Monday, according to a Reuters witness and lawyers for the group.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Maria Meza, a 40-year-old migrant woman from Honduras, holds her daughter as she waits at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California to be processed as an asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Members of a group of...more

Maria Meza, a 40-year-old migrant woman from Honduras, holds her daughter as she waits at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California to be processed as an asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Members of a group of Honduran migrants, which included a mother who had been photographed running with her daughters from tear gas several weeks ago, began seeking asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico on Monday, according to a Reuters witness and lawyers for the group. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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The group comprised mostly teens but also included Maria Meza and her children, the lawyers said. The family appeared in a widely circulated photograph taken by Reuters on November 25 (pictured) as they fled tear gas thrown by U.S. authorities during a protest at the border last month when some migrants rushed the U.S. fence.

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The group comprised mostly teens but also included Maria Meza and her children, the lawyers said. The family appeared in a widely circulated photograph taken by Reuters on November 25 (pictured) as they fled tear gas thrown by U.S. authorities during...more

The group comprised mostly teens but also included Maria Meza and her children, the lawyers said. The family appeared in a widely circulated photograph taken by Reuters on November 25 (pictured) as they fled tear gas thrown by U.S. authorities during a protest at the border last month when some migrants rushed the U.S. fence. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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A family waits to apply for asylum at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California, seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Sandra Cordero, from advocacy group Families Belong Together, which accompanied the migrants, said eight unaccompanied minors were being processed for asylum. Meza and her family were also being processed, Cordero said.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A family waits to apply for asylum at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California, seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Sandra Cordero, from advocacy group Families Belong Together, which accompanied the migrants, said eight...more

A family waits to apply for asylum at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California, seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Sandra Cordero, from advocacy group Families Belong Together, which accompanied the migrants, said eight unaccompanied minors were being processed for asylum. Meza and her family were also being processed, Cordero said. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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Jamie Mejia Meza, a daughter of Maria Meza, sits at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego to be processed as an asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. A system dubbed "metering" limits how many can ask for asylum each day at U.S. ports of entry, leading to months-long waits in Mexico for thousands of migrants fleeing violence in Central America.

REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Jamie Mejia Meza, a daughter of Maria Meza, sits at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego to be processed as an asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. A system dubbed "metering" limits how many can ask for asylum each day...more

Jamie Mejia Meza, a daughter of Maria Meza, sits at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego to be processed as an asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. A system dubbed "metering" limits how many can ask for asylum each day at U.S. ports of entry, leading to months-long waits in Mexico for thousands of migrants fleeing violence in Central America. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
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Unaccompanied minors are escorted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers as they have been processed for asylum at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California, December 17, 2018. Sometimes U.S. border authorities allow individuals considered vulnerable, such as unaccompanied minors, be processed more rapidly. Activists said the group on Monday fit that category.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Unaccompanied minors are escorted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers as they have been processed for asylum at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California, December 17, 2018. Sometimes U.S. border authorities allow...more

Unaccompanied minors are escorted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers as they have been processed for asylum at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California, December 17, 2018. Sometimes U.S. border authorities allow individuals considered vulnerable, such as unaccompanied minors, be processed more rapidly. Activists said the group on Monday fit that category. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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An unaccompanied minor reacts as he is allowed to enter the United States to apply for asylum, at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California, seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Democratic U.S. Representatives Jimmy Gomez and Nanette Barragan, along with lawyers, accompanied the group at the Otay Mesa port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico, on Monday afternoon, the Reuters witness said.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

An unaccompanied minor reacts as he is allowed to enter the United States to apply for asylum, at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California, seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Democratic U.S. Representatives Jimmy Gomez and...more

An unaccompanied minor reacts as he is allowed to enter the United States to apply for asylum, at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California, seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Democratic U.S. Representatives Jimmy Gomez and Nanette Barragan, along with lawyers, accompanied the group at the Otay Mesa port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico, on Monday afternoon, the Reuters witness said. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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The border line between Mexico and United States is seen at the Otay Mesa port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents had said the port of entry was full, Gomez said. Surrounded by advocates and lawyers, the migrants sat by a metal turnstile, having gone beyond a sign marking the division between Mexico and the United States. But by Monday evening, after more than four hours waiting, CBP officials came to let several unaccompanied minors pass through.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The border line between Mexico and United States is seen at the Otay Mesa port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents had said the port of entry was full, Gomez said. Surrounded by advocates and...more

The border line between Mexico and United States is seen at the Otay Mesa port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents had said the port of entry was full, Gomez said. Surrounded by advocates and lawyers, the migrants sat by a metal turnstile, having gone beyond a sign marking the division between Mexico and the United States. But by Monday evening, after more than four hours waiting, CBP officials came to let several unaccompanied minors pass through. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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Maria Meza sits as she waits at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California to be processed as an asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. The asylum seekers had been part of groups of thousands of migrants known as caravans that left from Central America and arrived in Tijuana in recent months. U.S. President Donald Trump declared the caravans an "invasion," and sent several thousand troops to "harden" the border, including with barbed wire.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Maria Meza sits as she waits at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California to be processed as an asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. The asylum seekers had been part of groups of thousands of migrants known as...more

Maria Meza sits as she waits at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California to be processed as an asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. The asylum seekers had been part of groups of thousands of migrants known as caravans that left from Central America and arrived in Tijuana in recent months. U.S. President Donald Trump declared the caravans an "invasion," and sent several thousand troops to "harden" the border, including with barbed wire. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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The daughter of Maria Meza cries as she waits with her mother sitting at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego to be processed as asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Activists say metering is intended to deter asylum applicants by making the process arduous, while U.S. officials maintain the system only exists to manage overcapacity at ports of entry.

REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

The daughter of Maria Meza cries as she waits with her mother sitting at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego to be processed as asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Activists say metering is intended to deter asylum...more

The daughter of Maria Meza cries as she waits with her mother sitting at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego to be processed as asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Activists say metering is intended to deter asylum applicants by making the process arduous, while U.S. officials maintain the system only exists to manage overcapacity at ports of entry. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
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Children of Maria Meza make their way to the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego to be processed as an asylum seeker, in Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. CBP said in response to questions that this year it had seen a more than 100 percent increase in asylum seekers processed at ports of entry and that it processed people as quickly as possible. "As we have done for several years, when our ports of entry reach capacity, we have to manage the queues and individuals presenting without documents may need to wait in Mexico as CBP officers work to process those already within our facilities. 

REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Children of Maria Meza make their way to the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego to be processed as an asylum seeker, in Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. CBP said in response to questions that this year it had seen a more than 100 percent increase...more

Children of Maria Meza make their way to the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego to be processed as an asylum seeker, in Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. CBP said in response to questions that this year it had seen a more than 100 percent increase in asylum seekers processed at ports of entry and that it processed people as quickly as possible. "As we have done for several years, when our ports of entry reach capacity, we have to manage the queues and individuals presenting without documents may need to wait in Mexico as CBP officers work to process those already within our facilities. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
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An unaccompanied minor waits at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California to be processed as an asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Lawyers from Al Otro Lado were also with the children. The organization has accompanied vulnerable groups to the border in order to request asylum, bypassing the semi-formal list system that controls the numbers of migrants who try to enter each day. Earlier this month, a single mother and her 9-year-old daughter were able to ask for asylum at the San Ysidro port of entry only after a congresswoman - who was touring the port at the time - stepped in and told CBP officers they were required to process them by law, according to Lindsay Toczylowski, executive director at the Immigrant Defenders Law Center.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

An unaccompanied minor waits at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California to be processed as an asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Lawyers from Al Otro Lado were also with the children. The organization has...more

An unaccompanied minor waits at the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California to be processed as an asylum seeker, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico December 17, 2018. Lawyers from Al Otro Lado were also with the children. The organization has accompanied vulnerable groups to the border in order to request asylum, bypassing the semi-formal list system that controls the numbers of migrants who try to enter each day. Earlier this month, a single mother and her 9-year-old daughter were able to ask for asylum at the San Ysidro port of entry only after a congresswoman - who was touring the port at the time - stepped in and told CBP officers they were required to process them by law, according to Lindsay Toczylowski, executive director at the Immigrant Defenders Law Center. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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