Reporting on March 2, 2023, the Nogales-based Kino Border Initiative (KBI) recounted a case of family separation resulting from CBP One appointment scarcity.
In mid-February 2023, Jesús [name changed to protect privacy], Rosa [name changed to protect privacy] and their 2 kids approached the port of entry with a CBPOne appointment. The application would only allow the family to list Jesús and Rosa and would not permit them to add their 2 children, ages 4 and 6, to the same appointment. The CBP agent at the Nogales POE said the children could not be admitted because they were not registered, and if Jesús and Rosa wanted to keep their appointment, they would have to cross and leave their children behind. Jesús asked if he and his son could cross together instead, so that Rosa would only have to try to secure an appointment for 2 people, rather than 4 if they all stayed. The official aggressively responded that he could not. As they tried to figure out what to do, CBP officials said if they didn’t vacate the premises they were going to call the Mexican police to remove them. Jesús finally decided he would cross alone, so that he could find a way to support his family, figuring it would be slightly easier for Rosa to secure 3 appointments. After informing the officer of his decision, the officer asked Jesús, “Are you really going to leave your family all alone?” As a result of these obstacles to seeking asylum as a family unit, Jesús and his family decided he would cross alone.“March 2 update from KBI” (Nogales: Kino Border Initiative, March 2, 2023).