By Keegan Hamilton and Francisco Alvarado April 10, 2014
Cecilia Cortes crossed the Tijuana border into San Diego on a Sunday morning this March. The 34-year-old curly-haired brunet, with her 3-year-old son, Jonathan, and her 6-year-old daughter, Alexa — both U.S. citizens — walked a pedestrian bridge into the Otay Mesa Port of Entry station controlled by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Though Cecilia is not an American, she was confident federal agents would allow her to enter the country. She would ask for political asylum, a type of refugee status granted to people who arrive in the United States after fleeing persecution... More >>>
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Women wait outside the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach, where 700 detainees are housed. Most do not have criminal records.