Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Trump tells border officials to block migrant caravans from entering US

Hat Tip: Suzanne Eovaldi

The following article appeared in the Washington Examiner on April 27th

President Trump announced Monday he has directed the Department of Homeland Security to block large groups of migrants who have begun to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border and apply for asylum as refugees from Central America.
No free trips across border under Trump Administration

"Despite the Democrat inspired laws on Sanctuary Cities and the Border being so bad and one sided, I have instructed the Secretary of Homeland Security not to let these large Caravans of people into our Country. It is a disgrace. We are the only Country in the World so naive! WALL," Trump tweeted Monday morning.

Trump also said negotiations over a new North American Free Trade Agreement must include language that prevents Central Americans from getting into Mexico via its southern border.

"Mexico, whose laws on immigration are very tough, must stop people from going through Mexico and into the U.S. We may make this a condition of the new NAFTA Agreement. Our Country cannot accept what is happening! Also, we must get Wall funding fast," Trump added.

About 50 people in the 1,500-person caravan of Central Americans traveling to the U.S. to seek asylum have made the 2,000-mile trip to the border city of Tijuana, Mexico, according to multiple reports late last week.

The crew of mostly Honduran and Guatemalan people embarked in March. The group traveled together for safety reasons and to avoid being robbed in dangerous parts of Mexico.

The group that arrived at the northern Mexico city last Wednesday have begun filing for asylum, which is technically a request for refugee status because they are not in the U.S.

“Since yesterday, some began to cross into the United States to turn themselves in from Tijuana and request asylum. We understand more ... will do the same,” Juventud 2000 Director Jose Maria Garcia, who is helping caravan members in their journey, told Reuters.

Those who have traveled as family units or unaccompanied minors will have priority for admittance because the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act allows those who show up at a U.S. port of entry and are from a noncontiguous country to be admitted while awaiting an immigration hearing. The large majority of those immigration hearings take up to two years, and most do not show up.

This caravan attracted the attention of the U.S. media as well as the Trump administration in March, after group members said they planned to demand asylum once at the U.S. border. Mexican officials indicated that most would not try to cross into the U.S., but admitted some might try.

Trump threatened to end negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement and in early April, approved the deployment of 4,000 National Guard troops to the southwest border.

Members of the caravan have said they plan to seek asylum and not illegally enter America. Trump's calls for military at the border would allow Customs and Border Protection officers and Border Patrol agents to process those who show up while the National Guardsmen would focus on non-law enforcement tasks.

Caravan organizer Irineo Mujica told one reporter following the group that the attention from Trump prompted Mexican officials to try to break up the caravan in the hope of pleasing the U.S.

The large group did fall apart, but some smaller units have regrouped in the final stages of the trip after alleged kidnappings of members, he added.

Mujica said 500 people are still riding on top of Mexican trains to the U.S.

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