Photos: Track 42 remains in place for now as the border crisis in southern Arizona deepens

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John G. Roberts Jr. has temporarily stayed the termination of a controversial Trump-era immigration policy known as Title 42, which was due to end on Dec. 11. 21

But the stream of refugees on the southern border continues.

Spotlight: Southern Arizona.

Around 3am every morning, hundreds of people stand beside the brightly lit, 30-foot-tall steel fence. They shiver below freezing in the desert night or huddle around makeshift warming fires, waiting to surrender to border police agents.

They have traveled from Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, Guyana, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Afghanistan, Russia and Georgia to a single gap or one of several locked gates in the border wall.

Everyone wants to apply for asylum.

A family of adults and children walk around a gap in the US-Mexico border fence south of Yuma, Az.

A family of adults and children walk around a gap in the US-Mexico border fence at the Colorado River levee south of Yuma, Ariz.

(Don Bartletti / For the Time)

Many had trouble pronouncing the names of American cities where they claimed to have a relative or friend.

Multigenerational families and travelers said they spent days, weeks or months catching flights and long bus journeys, and some said they walked for months to get here.

A group of 200 migrants wait in a long line to be processed by US Border Patrol agents south of Yuma, Ariz.

About 200 migrants from at least a dozen countries wait to be processed by US Border Patrol agents south of Yuma, Ariz. The site is such a busy destination for migrants that the head of the Yuma Sector Border Patrol installed shade canopies, water tanks and portable toilets.

(Don Bartletti / For the Time)

They knew well in advance that once they got to the border, they would have to wait in line and hand in anything that didn’t fit in a 1 liter plastic ziplock bag.

In 2022, there were so many “duties” that James Wright, the Yuma Station Border Patrol special operations officer, put up shade canopies to provide shelter from the scorching summer sun and fresh water tanks.

Migrants huddle in the shade of the border wall, trying to keep warm until border guards arrive.

Migrants huddle in the shade of the border wall, trying to keep warm until border guards arrive.

(Don Bartletti / For the Time)

Two US Border Patrol agents photograph part of about 100 people who surrendered after crossing the Mexico-Arizona border

Two Border Patrol agents take photos of a group of about 100 who surrendered after crossing the US-Mexico border in Arizona without permission. At right are stacked shipping containers set up by the former Arizona governor earlier this year. Doug Ducey to close a gap in the barrier.

(Don Bartletti / For the Time)

A group of migrants wait at the Colorado River dam in San Luis, Arizona.

Cuban nationals Alejandro Diaz and his wife Ruth Delgado hold hands while waiting with a group of 200 migrants on the Colorado River embankment in San Luis, Ariz. “In Havana, we were English teachers and Christians,” Diaz said. “The government has been trying to get us to vote for a new family code. Because we didn’t vote for it, we felt threatened at school and at home and decided to flee.” They intend to apply for asylum and live with his father in Orlando, Florida.

(Don Bartletti / For the Time)

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