JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — Long after midnight, when the heat has finally relented and the walled courtyard is scattered with men sleeping in the open, someone begins to sob. (In this July 26, 2019, photo, people from Africa and Central America sit in chairs as the sun sets at El Buen Pastor shelter for migrants in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico. AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The sound is quiet, muffled. The only light comes from streetlights shimmering above the razor wire. It’s impossible to see who is crying.

Is it the Ugandan bodybuilder who came here fleeing political violence? Or the 27-year-old El Salvadoran who often wears a Cookie Monster t-shirt? Maybe it’s the young Honduran husband who rarely leaves his wife’s side.

It could have been any of them.

____            

This story is part of an occasional series, “Outsourcing Migrants,” produced with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

This is the cobbled-together community of El Buen Pastor — The Good Pastor — 130 or so migrants from around the world locked into a shelter every evening at 5:30 p.m., trapped in an immigration purgatory. They are barely three miles from the Paso del Norte Bridge and their goal: the United States.

“Everyone cries here,” says Yanisley Estrada Guerrero, a 33-year-old Cuban economist and former bank manager. She’s now working illegally as a housekeeper at a Juarez hotel for $60 a month, less than half Mexico’s minimum wage. “I still cry almost every day. But I do it in the shower, because I don’t want anyone to see.”

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