Remnants Of Migrant Caravan To Arrive In Tijuana This Week
>> I am and this is Tuesday, April 24. Our top historic . Our top story. The caravan called out in a tweet storm by Donald Trump is slowly arriving in Tijuana. There a is to ask for asylum in the U.S. but is still an open question asked if they were of chants. The main group sponsored by Pueblo [ Indiscernible ] Is expected to reach Tijuana later this week. Joining me as a border reporter with the San Diego Tribune. >> Do we know how many people from the caravan or due to arrive in Tijuana? >> Not really, we may not know until they actually get there. Have been reading reports about the people who are taking a network of trains up from Sinaloa, and Mazatlán and up to Mexicali. I don't think so we will actually know until they actually show up. >> Why are they heading to Tijuana is in it generally the Texas border who receives the bulk of central America asylum-seekers? >> I asked the leader of this caravan and he said it's because it is safer here. It's so much farther but it's incredibly dangerous. I think they are trying to make a political point they're coming to ask for asylum but there making a point as to how unsafe it is to go through America for a lot of these people who don't have documents. >> Why is it more dangerous? >> Is far more dangerous to go to Texas because what I'm told, there is a system to extort them. It's not that they are out of harms way in Tijuana, things can happen and they do. There have been tragedies but it's not us systematic. In 2010 there were possibly 70 people taken off the bus and shot to deaf. It's been a huge tragedy but that's the route a lot of the central American migrants have known. >> Why are they traveling here the first place? >> They are leaving because they don't see any hope for the future as to whether from. 80% are from Honduras and they talk about violence, extortion and a couple of them had small businesses who they could not make work. Because they were being extorted by the gangs. It was a highly question presidential election that drove them deeper into hopelessness. >> How is this caravan been progressing through Mexico, and by that I mean has it lost members along the way? >> I have peeled off along the way but it's not official. I think it picked up a lot of people in southern Mexico who feels safer maybe traveling with a caravan. Once they got to Oaxaca they were given papers from Mexican immigrations saying that they had 20 days to leave the country or legalize your status. What this does is gives them some legitimacy for the next 20 days so they feel safer and they made peel off from the caravan by taking a bus. >> The first members arrived earlier this week. Is there reason to believe that president Trump's tweets have influenced the way that Mexican officials are receiving them? >> It's unclear. There was something last week about 50 or so, some caravans might be on their own. Obviously there going to say that the Mexican officials processed according to the law. What I've heard from several of the migrants and their advocates is that they would go to the border with the intention of asking U.S. authorities for asylum and then Mexican officials would stop them and say that's closed today, come back tomorrow. Or in some cases they could have been detained or taken and for the questioning. >> When I spoke with one of these officials they said that's what we do. We check for papers to see if people are in the country legally or not. But migrant advocates say why do you take them into custody right before. >> How are U.S. officials preparing for these asylum-seekers? >> Maybe there will be 200 at most 300. They are not just trying to enter the country illegally, they are trying to do it through illegal process which is asylum. They are probably going to bring more people to the court to process more quickly. I think they're going to process them quickly. >> Center, Thank you so much per >> Thanks for having me.
The remnants of a caravan of Central American migrants protested in northern Mexico on Monday, even as once again they drew angry tweets from U.S. President Donald Trump.
The mainly Central American migrants are demanding better treatment and many are planning to request asylum, either in the United States or Mexico.
"We are asking the government and migration authorities to respect the right to seek asylum," said caravan organizer Irineo Mujica. "Those who request asylum shouldn't be criminalized. It is a right ... families shouldn't be separated or punished."
The approximately 600 migrants arrived in the northern city of Hermosillo aboard trains over the weekend.
Mujica has said the migrants plan to arrive in Tijuana later this week.
Trump tweeted Monday that "I have instructed the Secretary of Homeland Security not to let these large Caravans of people into our Country."
But U.S. and international asylum law prohibit countries from turning people away at the border if those people express fear of returning home.
“Literally any person who is in the United States or who arrives at the border of the United States, no matter what their immigration status is, has the right to apply for asylum," said immigration attorney Ginger Jacobs. "They don't have the right to get asylum — you know, it's not guaranteed — but they at least have the right to apply."
Many of the migrants say they are fleeing gang violence and extortion in Honduras and El Salvador.
In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the department won’t let anyone from the caravan enter the country illegally but that they will continue to process asylum seekers. She added that the caravan has the "apparent intention of entering the United States illegally." The agency did not immediately respond to a question from KPBS about the basis for that assessment.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the caravan is "a deliberate attempt to undermine our laws and overwhelm our system." He also said his agency is working to ensure there are enough prosecutors and immigration judges available to deal with the caravan.
Trump, in his morning tweet, urged Mexico to stop Central Americans from flowing through its country: "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," he tweeted.
In response, Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray tweeted, "It would be unacceptable to condition the NAFTA negotiations on immigration actions that are outside that framework."
"Mexico decides its own immigration policy in a sovereign manner, and Mexico's cooperation on immigration matters with the United States occurs because Mexico considers it in its own interest," Videgaray wrote.
The U.S. government "should be more understanding of the women and children in this caravan ... and the dangers they face in their countries," caravan organizer Mujica said.
Nielsen of Homeland Security said her agency was working with the Justice Department in "taking a number of steps to ensure that all cases and claims are adjudicated promptly - including sending additional USCIS asylum officers, ICE attorneys, DOJ Immigration Judges, and DOJ prosecutors to the Southern border.
"DHS encourages persons with asylum or other similar claims to seek protections in the first safe country they enter, including Mexico," she said.