by Countable | 4.30.18
UPDATE - May 1, 2018: Eight of the nearly 200 Central American migrants who traveled by caravan to the U.S. border crossing at San Diego have been allowed to apply for asylum.
- Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions charged eleven members of the "caravan" with illegally entering the U.S.
"The United States will not stand by as our immigration laws are ignored and our nation's safety is jeopardized," Sessions said in a statement.
- President Donald Trump, who had tweeted intermittent warnings about the caravan throughout April, ended the month with:
Countable's original story appears below.
Asylum Seekers at California-Mexico Border — What Should We Do?
What’s the story?
- A group of around 200 Central American immigrants have reached the U.S. border near San Diego seeking asylum.
- Shortly before the migrants arrived at the Tijuana checkpoint on Sunday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced that none would be processed for asylum that day as the agency had “reached capacity.”
What are the migrants saying?
- Following their month-long 2,000-mile trek, dozens of migrants are vowing to remain outside the immigrant-processing center until “every last one” is admitted into the U.S.
- Many are fleeing gang violence and political persecution in Central America, which entitles them to apply for asylum in the U.S.
- Attorneys and organizations like Amnesty International are in Tijuana to explain to the migrants their asylum-seeking rights.
What’s the president saying?
- "Are you watching that mess that's going on right now with the caravan coming up?" President Trump to a crowd at a campaign-style rally in Michigan on Saturday. "We have the worst laws anywhere in the world, we don't have borders."
- The president began tweeting warnings about the “caravan” in early April, and has continued his call-to-action throughout the month:
What’s the Department of Homeland Security saying?
- Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen warned last week that any Central American migrant who makes false claims to federal immigration authorities will face criminal prosecution. She added that those who assist or coach immigrants into making false claims will also be subject to criminal prosecution.
- "Let me be clear: We will enforce the immigration laws as set forth by Congress," she said.
"If you enter our country illegally, you have broken the law and will be referred for prosecution. If you make a false immigration claim, you have broken the law and will be referred for prosecution. If you assist or coach an individual in making a false immigration claim, you have broken the law and will be referred for prosecution."
What do you think?
As Nielsen said, this all involves “immigrants laws…set forth by Congress”—so now is the time to tell your member of Congress how to act. Should the migrants be granted asylum? Should the U.S. impose stricter asylum-seeking standards? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: Khushbu Shah via Twitter)