The Central American Asylum Caravan
Thousands of migrants arrived at the US-Mexico border after traveling thousands of miles from their homes in Central America. These migrants come from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
The migrant caravan includes people from numerous countries. All of them were hoping to flee the violence and poverty of their home countries. A main goal for many of the caravan migrants at the start of the trek was to reach the US and apply for asylum.
What Do They Want?
The caravan migrants state that they are fleeing poverty, violence, and persecution in their home locations. These migrants intend to settle in the United States. These migrants maintain this position despite knowing that they will face prosecution, arrest, and deportation if they enter the U.S. illegally.
Some of the migrants in the asylum caravan say they have been extorted or threatened with gang violence. These concerns prompted their caravan and many of the families brought their children in an effort to relocate. Other migrants hope to obtain jobs to send money back to their families in other countries.
How Have They Been Treated Along the Way?
Many of the migrants in the caravan have received a lot of support from Mexican natives. However, there have also been reports of violence and issues. Some women allege that they were raped as they approached the Mexican border.
The asylum caravan was also stopped by riot police at the border between Guatemala and Mexico.
Once in Mexico, many families stepped forward to offer water, shelter, and food. Volunteers also manned efforts to drop off meals and clothes to the migrants. In Tijuana, however, the caravan encountered protestors. Typically, migrant caravans are targets for violence or human trafficking, but the large size of this group of caravan migrants has afforded them some protection.
What Happened Once They Arrived at the Mexican Border?
When the caravan first arrived at the border, the US was only processing 40-100 asylum applications per day. The members of the caravan chose to protest peacefully because of this and lived in temporary shelters along border cities in Mexicali and Tijuana.
However, applying pressure via their mere presence did not appear to speed things up. As a result, the caravan members began rushing the border in large groups and even jumping the walls.
How Has Trump Responded?
From the moment he learned of the asylum caravan, President Trump has referred to this group as an “invasion.” He sent dozens of tweets prior to the most recent elections in the U.S. Some of the comments referenced in his tweets included that “our military is waiting for you” and “many gang members and some very bad people are mixed into the caravan headed for our southern border.”
He even referenced the caravan at a rally in November, stating that voters should vote Republican unless they wanted to be overrun by masses of illegal aliens and giant caravans.
In addition to making statements, Trump also deployed 5,800 troops to the region. Their primary job as been to add wire to certain portions of the fencing along the southern border. Finally, Trump attempted to issue an order that would deny asylum to those crossing the southern border illegally, but that was blocked by a federal judge.
What Are the Migrant’s Other Options?
Some of the migrants intend to stay in wait at the southern border. Many of them are currently considering their options and next steps with the asylum caravan. Many of them started with the goal of claiming asylum after reaching US territory and intend to pursue that goal.
Anyone seeking asylum must have fled due to serious fear of persecution in their home country. These individuals, if fitting the eligibility for asylum, are known as refugees. The US has a legal obligation to hear claims from those individuals who say they fear violence in their home countries, even if that migrant enters the US illegally.
However, those attempting to flee poverty do not get the same protections.
Those in the asylum caravan could also return home. At least 7,000 Hondurans have already turned back.
The other option for these asylum seekers in the asylum caravan is to stay in Mexico. The current Mexican president has offered this as a possibility and says the asylum seekers would be offered jobs if they comply with Mexico’s laws.
Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!
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