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Central American Asylum-Seekers Continue To Arrive In Tijuana

An asylum seeking mother holds her child in Tijuana, April 25, 2018.

Photo by Jean Guerrero

Above: An asylum seeking mother holds her child in Tijuana, April 25, 2018.

Central American Asylum-Seekers Continue To Arrive In Tijuana

GUEST:

Jean Guerrero, fronteras reporter, KPBS News

Transcript

UPDATE: 10:00 a.m., April 26, 2018

Nearly 200 more Central Americans are expected to arrive in Tijuana on Thursday, according to Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a group that has been organizing caravans of asylum seekers through Mexico.

They plan to present themselves at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on Sunday.

UPDATE: 5:23 p.m., April 25, 2018:

Forty-eight people arrived in Tijuana on Wednesday, said migrant shelter coordinators with Movimiento Juventud 2000. The group is part of a larger "caravan" of about 400 asylum-seeking immigrants that has drawn the fury of President Donald Trump.

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 U.S. from Mexico. They joined another 200 or so who arrived in Tijuana over the last week or two.

Original story:

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.

Jeimy Pastora Castro is part of the caravan President Donald Trump's administration has accused of plotting to enter the U.S. illegally.

“I didn’t come here to cross illegally. I came here for help, for the President to have a heart since he’s a human like us and was also created by God,” she said as she cradled her baby outside the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana.

Photo by Jean Guerrero

A group of people seeking asylum in the U.S. stand in line at a migrant shelter in Tijuana, April 25, 2018.

RELATED: Remnants Of Migrant Caravan To Arrive In Tijuana This Week

Castro and most of the other asylum-seekers come from Honduras, where a divisive presidential election has led to killings in the streets.

“I’ve heard they don’t give asylum anymore, that the U.S. isn’t helping anyone, that it’s a lie, that they’re going to deport me and take my daughter away."

Trump said in a tweet Monday that he had instructed Homeland Security to turn them away.

RELATED: Decades-Long Struggle To Secure US-Mexico Border

KPBS has reached out to Homeland Security for clarification on its statement that the caravan intends to enter illegally, but has yet to hear back.

Photo by Jean Guerrero

A group of people seeking asylum in the U.S. wait near the border in Tijuana, April 25, 2018.

Immigration attorney Nicole Ramos said Trump’s instruction can’t be implemented because U.S. and international law require asylum-seekers get a fair hearing.

U.S. lawyers planned to lead clinics later this week on U.S. asylum law to tell them what to expect when they seek asylum. The first groups are expected to try to enter the U.S. on Sunday.

“I think it’s just a way for him to rile up Americans who fear brown immigrants invading their borders, to create this image that a caravan of Central Americans are coming to descend upon America," Ramos said.

The caravans have been a fairly common tactic for years among advocacy groups to bring attention to Central American citizens seeking asylum in the U.S. to escape political persecution or criminal threats from gangs.

Forty-eight people arrived in Tijuana on Wednesday, said migrant shelter coordinators with Movimiento Juventud 2000. The group is part of a larger "caravan" of about 400 asylum-seeking immigrants that has drawn the fury of President Donald Trump.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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