Younger migrants climbed to the top of tall gates dividing the USA and Mexico, fist-pumping to crowds gathered on the American side.
The group of about 400 migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador arrived in border city Tijuana on buses over the past couple of days, and majority said Saturday they meant to legally seek asylum in San Diego on Sunday.
Some supporters of the caravan scaled the border fence, apparently clamoring up from the Mexican side, although no one attempted to cross north into the United States. Officials have said they separate adults from children in custody only “in the interest of the child” – for instance, if there’s a suspicion of human trafficking or if they are unable to confirm the child is traveling with parents or legal guardians.
“It seems impossible to get asylum, because you could have to wait for up to a year, and to pay up to $20,000”, he said. “They’re assuming that people are breaking the law”. So the fate of the “asylum seekers” now hangs in the balance. The caravan began with more than 1,000 people, seeking safety in numbers along the risky 2,000-mile journey to the USA border. The asylum seekers held firm, setting up a possible showdown. “That’s a part of immigration law”.
If denied asylum, caravan migrants face deportation back to their home countries and the dangers they fled.
Heather Crone of advocacy group Show Up for Racial Justice says she’s found 80 people across the US who agreed to sponsor caravan members if they’re released while their petitions are pending.
Is this caravan something new?
“Are you watching that mess that’s going on right now with the “caravan” coming up?” he asked the crowd.
But for all the noise, it remains to be seen whether the White House’s actions will have much of an impact on the roughly 600 Central Americans who plan to present asylum claims.
This year’s was the largest caravan yet. But the smaller group did not disband and has begun arriving on buses at the border city of Tijuana. As a result, it has placed 1.8 million people brought to the USA as children and given temporary protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program at risk of deportation following Trump’s cancellation of the program in March. (AP Photo/Hans-Maximo Musielik) Central American migrants sit on top of the border wall.
The attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has called the caravan “a deliberate attempt to undermine our laws and overwhelm our system”. Mirroring the president’s tweets, a fundraising email sent out in April touted Trump’s orders to “STOP the caravan of illegal immigrants trying to cross our WIDE-OPEN BORDER”.
Some have made a decision to seek asylum in Mexico.
The caravan has been making national headlines for the past month after catching the attention of President Donald Trump.
Jenni, another member of the “March Without Borders” who arrived past year in the USA from El Salvador as part of another caravan told EFE that the Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) officers tried to sign her voluntary departure, but she chose to stay and fight for her case.
But several hours later, the status of the first wave of migrants to seek asylum, mostly women and children, was uncertain, according to the Union-Tribune. The people whom Nielsen accuses of “coaching” the caravan’s members are lawyers and immigrant rights advocates counseling migrants about the process for claiming asylum.
The almost 400 migrants – many mothers carrying infants children who filled five old school buses and at one point numbered over 1000 strong slogging from as far as Guatemala – arrived in Tijuana last week.