United States warns of arrests as migrant caravan reaches border

30 April, 2018, 11:53 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Migrant

After an arduous weeks-long journey across Mexico, as many as 130 Central American asylum seekers are expected to arrive at the USA border this weekend, despite warnings from the Trump administration that they could face arrest.

Busloads of migrants began arriving on Tuesday at a shelter that was a five minute-walk from the border and within sight of a USA flag waving under an overpass connecting the two countries.

Q:What does it mean to seek asylum?

Jeimy Pastora Castro is part of the caravan President Donald Trump's administration has accused of plotting to enter the us illegally.

Though it is an annual event, this year's march gained prominence thanks to reports from US media outlets describing the ways in which Mexican authorities were helping the migrants reach the USA border.

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Jean Guerrero of NPR member station KPBS, reporting from Tijuana, says more than 200 people have arrived in the border town.

On April 16, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents arrested an MS-13 gang member, who embedded himself in a caravan of 60 other immigrants, after he crossed the border illegally in Yuma, Arizona.

Trump cited the caravan as justification for the border wall he wants to build, even though the asylum-seekers plan to turn themselves in to border inspectors and are legally entitled to seek protection.

"I didn't come here to cross illegally", Castro said. Some are also from El Salvador, which like Honduras has one of the world's highest murder rates.

A caravan of illegal aliens from Honduras, which Mexican authorities claims they broke up after feeling the wrath from President Donald Trump earlier this month, has made its way to the United States.

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A number of "welcome" groups have been organized for Sunday to greet asylum seekers at the border, with community organizers saying on a Facebook event page called Welcome the Refugee Caravan that they plan to have a "friendly encounter at the border and exchange welcoming words of solidarity and hope".

"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", Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen says. Pueblo Sin Fronteras has accused USA immigration authorities of illegally refusing asylum applicants.

"The efforts of USA officials to tarnish asylum seekers as criminals are cynical fabrications that ring hollow". Asylum seekers must have a well-founded fear of persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular "social group", a broad category that has included domestic violence victims and others.

And it could spark a possible showdown with the Trump administration.

Rocketto said a "huge reason" for why volunteers from her campaign want to be at the US border for when asylum seekers arrive is to "make sure the refugee caravan is protected".

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