On the Rio Grande River in Matamoros, Mexico, across from Brownsville, Texas, 11 migrants from Venezuela sat outside a tent trying to make an appointment on Thursday. They refresh their phones again and again, only to get error messages in response. The system was overwhelmed with thousands of immigrants trying to secure appointments, and the available places were quickly filled.
“We don’t have access, we don’t understand the new system,” complained Wendy Perez Peña, 31, who left Venezuela in March to escape poverty.
Jeison Rodriguez Jesus Salas, 27, shook his head in frustration.
“They haven’t updated it well, they should update it better,” he said.
Of the 11, none were able to get an appointment on Thursday.
Elsewhere along the border, in the scorching sun in Reynosa, Mexico, across from McAllen, Texas, Osiris Yamilet Ochoa, 20, has been trying repeatedly to get through the App to make an appointment.
On Thursday afternoon, she opened it again, and it said “waiting for appointment” in Spanish.
“Everyone wants to cross over to the US, but we’ve heard that if you cross before your appointment date, it could be considered an illegal crossing, which could hurt our case,” Ms. Ochoa said while selling gum. Buying baby formula for her 8-month-old daughter, Milagros, on the street. “I don’t want to take any chances. We’ve been here for three months. We can wait a few more days.”
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