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Central American asylum seeking caravan reaches US border

Central American asylum seeking caravan reaches US border”

Two busloads arrived late Tuesday in the Mexican border city of Tijuana at two migrant shelters just steps from one of the most fortified stretches of border separating the USA from Mexico.

They will join about 150 others who recently arrived in Tijuana. Two more busloads arrived on Tuesday and four more on Wednesday.

American lawyers were giving the migrants legal advice on how to apply for US asylum. USA federal law dictates that people who present themselves at the border seeking asylum - whether it's at a port of entry or anywhere in between - have the right to be taken into custody to see an asylum officer.

Trump and senior aides have portrayed the caravans and the asylum seekers as evidence of a dysfunctional border and a serious threat. Since "Fox and Friends" reported on the caravan early this month, the president has repeatedly tweeted about it and called for the National Guard to help secure the Mexican border. "It is a disgrace".

On 24 April, Amnesty International denounced apparent efforts by U.S. and Mexican authorities to prevent caravan members from exercising their right to seek asylum at the San Ysidro POE. But many split from the group once it began drawing attention. And while it slowly travelled across Mexico. Trump used it as an example to try to win more support for his planned border wall - even though the asylum-seekers plan to turn themselves in to border inspectors.

Their numbers have dwindled over the course of the journey as some of the Central Americans, daunted by the Trump administration's voiced outrage about the caravan, made a decision to explore alternatives in Mexico. At its peak, the caravan had 1,500 people.

She added that caravan members who want asylum "should seek protections in the first safe country they enter, including Mexico". "We will not comment further on internal deliberations", Waldman said. Then, asylum-seekers are sent to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. US officials then worked with Mexican border officials to create a ticketing system. Some waited their turn in Tijuana for more than five weeks.

Most of those seeking asylum are women and children from Honduras - including 70 to 80 infants - who advocates say are fleeing violence and instability following contentious presidential elections.

More news: Paul Ryan Ousts House Chaplain, Prompting Bipartisan Anger

As NPR's John Burnett reported a year ago, would-be asylum-seekers at the Southern border have described being turned away or threatened with deportation or told by officials that there is no such thing as asylum.

The separation of asylum-seeking families in the custody of USA immigration officials has become an increasingly common practice, according to human rights groups along the border.

'I left with a heap of things in my head, ' he said and held out his phone with photos of a brutally beaten older woman in a hospital bed, repeating again and again: '82. "I see it as something the port will be able to handle competently and professionally".

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in a message apparently aimed at asylum seekers, said Wednesday that anyone who makes false claims to immigration authorities is subject to criminal prosecution. "If you make a false immigration claim, you have broken the law and will be referred for prosecution".

U.S. Customs and Border Protection denies that asylum-seekers are being turned away. Asylum seekers are screened and have their backgrounds checked and, depending on how they entered the country, may be detained pending a hearing.

In October, the White House said there were 270,000 affirmative asylum cases awaiting action by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and 250,000 cases pending in the immigration courts.

The Juventud 2000 migrant shelter, on the edge of Tijuana's red-light district, is filled with dome-shaped tents to accommodate more than 200 arrivals.



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