Posted on April 24, 2018

The Central American Caravan That Angered Trump Is Nearing the US Border Now

Adolfo Flores, BuzzFeed, April 24, 2018, 1:43 pm

A migrant caravan that began its journey through Mexico a month ago is nearing the US border, where its arrival will set up a confrontation between the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policies and US laws that require the United States to grant asylum to people with valid persecution claims.

A group of about 130 women and children from the migrant caravan are expected to arrive in Mexicali, on the Mexican side of the US border, sometime Tuesday after an overnight bus trip from Hermosillo, in Mexico’s Sonora state.

While media attention to the caravan has dropped in recent weeks, the Trump administration has been keeping a watchful eye on the caravan’s progress. Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said Monday that her agency was monitoring “the remnants” of the caravan.

“If members of the ‘caravan’ enter the country illegally, they will be referred for prosecution for illegal entry in accordance with existing law,” Nielsen said in a statement. “For those seeking asylum, all individuals may be detained while their claims are adjudicated efficiently and expeditiously, and those found not to have a claim will be promptly removed from the United States.”


“Our nation has the most generous immigration system in the world, but this is a deliberate attempt to undermine our laws and overwhelm our system. There is no right to demand entry without justification,” Sessions said in a statement. {snip}


Officials of Pueblos Sin Fronteras, the volunteer group that organized the caravan, have said throughout the journey that migrants have the right to ask the US for asylum and that the United States must grant them the opportunity to do so.


Alex Mensing, an organizer with Pueblos Sin Fronteras, said the right to refuge is established in US law.

The right to seek refuge is established in US law (asylum process begins with getting to the US, w/ Title 8 Sec. 1225 USC), in Mexican law & international law. The US & MX asylum systems are punitive, unfair & underfunded. Indefinite immigration detention is torturous & inhumane.


He said the group had been told to expect 250 people Tuesday on buses, and that another 400 people who are traveling atop trains should arrive shortly after. The hotel, he said, could accommodate as many as 600; the overflow can easily be accommodated at other nearby locations, he said.


The Trump administration had claimed a victory after the caravan was stopped in Oaxaca by Mexican immigration authorities who said they were going to disband it after giving people documents that gave them permission to remain in Mexico for up to 30 days.

The caravan, however, did not disband and left Mexico City with about 600 people who were headed to the US or northern parts of Mexico. There appeared to be no efforts by the Mexican government to stop the caravan after it left Mexico City.

Trump renewed calls for Mexico to stop the caravan and for funding for his border wall.