We get questions all of the time about what happens when a migrant is apprehended at the border. The honest answer is: It all depends on a number of factors and variables.

It’s just before 5:00 a.m. on a Wednesday. Under the cover of darkness, three migrants cross over from Mexico near a border wall outside of Yuma, but within moments, Border Patrol agents are there to take them into custody.

Just a short drive away, about 20 migrants are camping out, waiting for Border Patrol agents to arrive and apprehend them.

All of the migrants ABC15 spoke to in that area plan to request asylum, like Maritza and her 6-year-old daughter.

They’ve built a small fire to keep themselves warm on a chilly desert night. Maritza says they are fleeing gang violence in Chile, where Martiza owned a small clothing store.

She explained to ABC15 that she is fearful for her life.

“You don’t play with them,” she said.

But what Maritza didn’t realize is that immigrating and crossing through the desert had its own risks. Along the way, she and her daughter were robbed six times.

“It’s very difficult to come here,” she explained with tears in her eyes.

It’s already been a long journey, but it’s just beginning for so many migrants.

Once migrants are apprehended, they’re taken to the Yuma Sector Border Patrol headquarters for a rigorous screening process. Yuma Sector Border Patrol Chief Sean McGoffin says agents are able to determine right off the bat if someone is here legally.

“We immediately try to collect their information,” McGoffin said. “We make sure we are taking fingerprints, biographic information, where they are from, taking their photos, and entering that into our programs.”

From there, many migrants that have been crossing in the past few years request asylum, which would play out in immigration court, not with Border Patrol.

Some of those migrants in Yuma County end up in Somerton at the Regional Center for Border Health, which has established a transition center for migrants who are trying to figure out their next steps.

The center provides meals, water, COVID testing, and also WiFi and computer access so they can book their own flights and make travel arrangements to stay with friends and family in other parts of the country as their asylum requests play out.

From there, the Regional Center for Border Health provides free busses to Phoenix Sky Harbor so migrants can catch their flights.

On one of the buses, ABC15 met a 27-year-old man from Guatemala named Casimiro.

Casimiro explained that he had to leave behind his wife and young daughter to request asylum here in the United States. His hope is to find work so he can send money back to his family.

Needless to say, it’s already been a long and traumatic journey for Casimiro.

“All night, I couldn’t sleep,” he said. “It was just so cold. I’d sleep for a little, but then I’d wake up because I would be shaking so much.”

Once they arrive at Sky Harbor, a group of about 20 migrants gets off the bus and is guided inside.

Casimiro is heading to Terminal 4 where he will board a quick flight to Los Angeles to stay with relatives before his immigration court date next month.

For so many of these migrants, it’s the final leg of the physical journey but the legal journey is now just beginning.

“I feel really good,” said Casimiro. “I almost feel like crying because I’m just so happy. This goal has been achieved.”

Most of the migrants ABC15 came into contact with are seeking asylum, but the reality is, that most asylum requests are denied. For more stats and information on the asylum process, click here.