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Cuban immigrant shares reasons behind his 2,400 mile trek

Asylum seeker discusses hardships in his homeland

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Yuma Sector Border Patrol says more than 4,000 undocumented immigrants illegally crossed from Mexico into Yuma County between last Friday and Monday. We had a chance to talk to one of the people flowing within the steady stream of asylum seekers.

The man tells us his journey began in Cuba, nearly 2,400 miles away from his crossing point. He says he came to the U.S. to work.

"Because there are more jobs. Because there is more money. There’s more respect for human beings," he claims. "In Cuba, the food is expensive. Everything is expensive. Pork, food, medicine. Everything is expensive. The clothing is expensive. And there’s nowhere to work. There’s not enough food to buy."

He's already undertaken a long journey, but he has much farther to go.

"My family is in Miami. They are waiting for me. My wife, my sons, my mother and father-in-law, my brothers-in-law, all of my family is waiting for me. The only person left was me."

He confesses, his trek has involved danger, but with the risk awaits great reward.

"It was very hard. I haven’t eaten or slept for three days. Just so I can come here to the border. So I can dream, live well and peaceful with my family who’s waiting for me."

He says many who make the journey are only looking for a better life.

"All of us Cuban want to come here to work. We are not looking for any problems. To help other Cubans who are starving and hungry. Those are my last words. And thank you for welcoming me."

That man was among dozens seen entering the U.S. even as Gov. Doug Ducey, (R-Ariz.), held a press conference to announce he's sending additional resources to the Yuma border to curtail the flow of undocumented immigrants into the U.S.

Many of the migrants seen crossing the border Tuesday were actually waiting for Border Patrol to process them rather than moving deeper into the county.

Many say they want to seek formal asylum before enforcement of the Remain in Mexico policy spreads beyond Texas. There's still no word on when that might happen in Yuma or Imperial County. 

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Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis Lisa got her first job in TV news at KYMA in 1987.

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Adam Klepp is excited to start his first job in the broadcast news industry as the FOX9 at 9 anchor and as a reporter at 5 and 6 on News 11.

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Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez joined the KSWT team as anchor/producer in October 2020. You can catch her on 13 On Your Side at 4:00pm.

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