Honduran migrant gives birth on Matamoros side of Veterans bridge

Trucks go through a secondary inspection after crossing the United States border via the Veterans International Bridge on Jan. 10, 2019. Eddie Gaspar for The Texas Tribune

CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — Mexican authorities said Sunday that a Honduran woman gave birth on the Mexican side of one of the border bridges linking Matamoros to Brownsville.

The woman was apparently trying to reach the U.S. side, but felt unsteady when she got there and was helped by pedestrians on the Mexican side waiting to cross.

The woman was identified as Leidy Hernández, 24.

Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said the incident occurred Saturday afternoon on the Ignacio Zaragoza border bridge, also known as “Los Tomates.” It said authorities received an alert from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials regarding “a woman trying to enter the country improperly.”

It said the woman was taken to a hospital in Matamoros, where she was given free care. Her child will have the right to Mexican citizenship.

Hernández was reportedly among about 800 migrants sheltering in an improvised riverside camp while awaiting U.S. hearings on their claims for asylum or visas. Other migrants are waiting in Matamoros, but have rented rooms.

Thousands of other migrants are waiting in other Mexican border cities for a chance to enter the U.S. — some for years. The Trump administration has turned away tens of thousands at legal border crossings, first citing a shortage of space and then telling people to wait for court dates under its “Remain in Mexico” policy.

The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.