Burgeoning numbers of Cubans trying to enter US via Mexico

Staff Writer

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — Burgeoning numbers of Cubans are trying to get into the U.S. by way of the Mexican border, creating a big backlog of people waiting on the Mexican side for months for their chance to apply for asylum.
The surge over the past several months has been propelled in part by loosened traveled restrictions in Central America and deteriorating living conditions in Cuba.
As a result, about 4,500 people, the vast majority of them Cuban, are crowded into Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, while they wait to be called for their asylum interviews — an influx that has raised tensions with the locals in some cases.
“It’s a bottleneck with an opening that is getting smaller,” said Enrique Valenzuela, an official of Mexico’s Chihuahua state, which manages Juarez’s waiting list. “People keep coming.”
For decades during the Cold War and beyond, Cubans tried to reach the U.S. by air, land and sea, many of them crossing the 90 miles to Florida in dangerously rickety boats and rafts...To read more, please refer to our print or online edition.