Migrant woman seen fleeing tear gas with children at border seeking asylum: report

A group of Honduran immigrants, including a woman who was photographed fleeing tear gas at the U.S.–Mexico border with her children in a viral photo, began seeking asylum on Monday.

According to Reuters, Maria Lila Meza Castro and her children, as well as a group composed of mostly teens, began being processed for asylum this week. The group includes eight unaccompanied minors, Sandra Cordero, from advocacy group Families Belong Together, told Reuters.

Meza Castro and her children initially were denied entry into the U.S. on Monday afternoon, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesperson told the outlet citing capacity issues. She and her children are now being processed, according to Reuters.

Meza Castro and her children gained national attention after they appeared in a now viral photograph taken late last month fleeing tear gas at the southern U.S. border. U.S. border agents began spraying tear gas at migrants attempting to breach a southern border crossing in late November, drawing widespread condemnation from civil rights groups for the incident.

According to CNN, the group of migrants was escorted on Monday by California Reps. Jimmy GomezJimmy GomezLawmakers call for 'time out' on facial recognition tech Amazon shareholders vote down limits on facial recognition software The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition — Trump: GOP has `clear contrast' with Dems on immigration MORE (D) and Nanette Barragan (D), as well as Families Belong Together, at the Otay Mesa port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico.

The group of migrants were part of the so-called caravans migrating north through Central America to the U.S.–Mexico border.

According to the CBP officials, asylum applications have doubled at ports this year, causing some delays.

"As we have done for several years, when our ports of entry reach capacity, we have to manage the queues and individuals presenting without documents may need to wait in Mexico as CBP officers work to process those already within our facilities," officials told Reuters.