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  • Writer's pictureVoices from the Border

"So I did a thing – a really big thing. As it turned out, it was probably the best day of my life."

It involved a young indigenous woman who had been sheltering at the apartments that Voices provides for migrant women and children in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.

Yazmin had been there since my husband, John Ashley, and I had been volunteering with Linda and Frank de Kort three months earlier. She was six months pregnant then and her husband had recently started working in the tomato and pepper fields in the US. Yazmin had tried every morning to get an appointment through the CBP One app, but the appointments were gone quickly and, now nine months pregnant and with her biological clock winding down, she decided to leave the safety of the apartments to wait in line at the port of entry, hoping she might be one of the lucky ones to gain entry through what’s known as the metering system.

Learning of her decision, my dear friend, retired school teacher, and fellow volunteer Linda and I made two crossings into Mexico to bring her food and water, hopeful words, and a warm jacket while she waited. Both times, Linda bravely spoke with the supervisory border agent. As the kind and compassionate grandmotherly figure, she explained the urgency of the situation and promised that we would provide care and transportation for Yazmin once she was released to the US side. Alas, to no avail. The system would work as it would, so Yazmin continued to wait on the cold cement floor just outside the port of entry at the border wall.

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