The picture shows a Latina woman with curly black hair and red lipstick smiling at something in the distance. She is standing in front of a body of water.

Felicia Rangel-Samponaro is co-director of The Sidewalk School for Asylum Seekers, which provides education, health care, and shelter for asylum seekers in Matamoros and Reynosa, Mexico. 

Posts By This Author

Do I Feed My Children Today or Do I Pay for Internet?

To gain asylum in the U.S., migrants have to use a complicated app to get individual appointments, often splitting up families. 
The picture shows the legs of a girl standing on the bank of the Rio Grande, holding a Barbie doll by its hair.

Herika Martinez / Getty 

WE DON'T HAVE typical days [assisting asylum seekers]. It just depends on what the new U.S. law or policy is for immigration. The CBP One application is the only way [asylum seekers] can now enter the U.S. You have to use the app on your phone every day, so you’re making choices: Do I feed my children today or do I pay for internet so I can hopefully get an appointment? The CBP One application is a lottery. Some people play for eight months straight. Some play for one week. You never know when you get picked. We bought Starlinks [satellite internet] for the shelters we run so asylum seekers could have internet access and we give out our passwords to everybody. We want you to have that chance to legally cross into the U.S.