Working while they wait, migrants seek jobs at US border

Before dawn each morning, migrants slip away from a Tijuana shelter within sight of the U.S. border to head to jobs across this sprawling city. Moving solo or in pairs, they are easily recognized by their determined strides as people with someplace to be.By sunrise, another crowd has gathered at a corner near the shelter to wait for job offers. On a recent morning, a dozen migrants scrambled into the bed of a Dodge pickup, their enthusiasm bringing a chuckle from the driver. The migrants didn't even know where they were going or when they'd be back — some carried bedrolls — but said the work would be peeling tomatoes.

Facing a likely months-long wait in Tijuana before even getting the chance to request asylum in the United States, many migrants are looking for work. Others who have already decided to stay in Mexico have applied for, and in some cases received, permits to work in Mexico. It's something the Mexican authorities have encouraged all the migrants to do in the hopes that jobs will help them put down roots here rather than crossing into the U.S.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––In most cases the migrants are relieved to have something that takes them away from the miserable conditions in the overcrowded shelter, where the hours pass slowly, and puts some money in their pockets.

"Here you make a little money," said Nelson David Landaverde, a 21-year-old Honduran who was out looking for food for his 16-month old son when someone approached and asked if he wanted to work at a car wash. He didn't think twice. He and his pregnant wife have put their names on an informal list of thousands of potential applicants for asylum in the U.S., but in the meantime he's eager to earn money to make their lives a little easier in Tijuana.

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