People Seeking Asylum In US From Central America Arrive In Tijuana

Activists Send Lawyers To Border To Coach 'Caravan' Asylum Seekers

Migrant caravan seeking asylum reaches US border

The U.S. Department of Justice has directed U.S. attorneys to "take immediate action" to send judges and prosecutors to the border to adjudicate cases quickly.

The timing of the migrants arrival could compromise a flurry of talks this week to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which Trump has repeatedly threatened to scrap if Mexico does not crack down on the flow of Central Americans through its territory.

Human rights group Amnesty International said the USA and Mexican authorities must "stop demonizing participants of the caravan from Central America and respect their fundamental right to seek asylum". "They have to have a very specific reason", said Stavros. They are expected to seek asylum in the United States.

"Pockets of the original, so-called 'migrant caravan, ' which press reports indicate consists mostly of Honduran nationals, have begun to arrive at our southern border with the intent of claiming asylum". The Trump administration is committed to enforcing our immigration laws, whether people are part of the caravan or not. They say that on Sunday, they will seek asylum, following the legal process for asking for safe harbor from persecution in their home countries. Castro, who is from Honduras, was holding her 2-year-old daughter.

One of those hoping to get into the U.S.is Jovanne Torres from El Salvador. "Most of the people in this caravan come from Honduras, where a divisive presidential election has led to killings in the streets".

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Mass immigration advocacy groups say the migrants are hoping to claim asylum once they enter the USA, but US immigration officials say the migrants are looking to take advantage of the catch-and-release system. "This President fully understands the threat this poses to Americans and has been crystal clear since the beginning of his Administration that we will protect our borders and our sovereignty", Neilsen said.

The immigrants' arrival comes the day after a third federal judge dealt a blow to the Trump administration's efforts to end protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Immigration attorney Michelle Stavros said only about 50 percent of asylum applicants are approved.

As NPR's John Burnett reported past year, 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. 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.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection denies that asylum-seekers are being turned away.

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