Eight from ‘migrant caravan’ allowed into US to apply for asylum

World Today

Central Americans who travel with a caravan of migrants they walk towards the border before crossing the border and request asylum in the United States, in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, April 29, 2018. A group of Central Americans who journeyed in a caravan to the U.S. border resolved to turn themselves in and ask for asylum Sunday in a direct challenge to the Trump administration – only to have U.S. immigration officials announce that the San Diego crossing was already at capacity. (AP Photo/Hans-Maximo Musielik)

The migrant caravan that inspired President Donald Trump’s fury has camped out at the U.S. border. At least eight of the migrants have been allowed into the country to apply for asylum.

Eleven others have been detained, accused of entering the U.S. illegally. The rest must play a waiting game as U.S. border authorities decide what to do. CGTN’s Alasdair Baverstock reports.

After a month of uncertainty, and a journey of more than 3,500 kilometers, the first members of a caravan made up of Central American migrants have arrived at the U.S. border.

The group, made of some 200 people who said they’re fleeing violence in their home countries, has set up camp in Tijuana, which faces San Diego, California, across the border fence.

Irma Rivera fled Honduras after her husband was murdered by local gangs, and said her children’s future was worth the perilous journey across Mexico.

“I just want for my children to be able to grow up in a country where they will have a chance”, she said. “The situation back there is very bad. We see that people are entering, so we just have to wait.”

The migrants, in setting up their makeshift camp beside the US border fence, have vowed not to leave until their cases for asylum are heard by U.S. authorities, who are bound to do so.

In the meantime, Mexican authorities said they are welcome.

“Everything is under control, we are here to guarantee their security and up until now there has been no problem with them here,” said Gerardo Leyva, a spokesman for the Tijuana Municipal Police Force.

The first eight migrants were ushered into the United States late Monday night.

While in Washington, President Trump continued to attack the effort, railing against the caravan’s defiance of the American border, tweeting: “The migrant ‘caravan’ that is openly defying our border shows how weak & ineffective U.S. immigration laws are. Yet Democrats like Jon Tester continue to support the open borders agenda – Tester even voted to protect Sanctuary Cities. We need lawmakers who will put America First.”

In a Rose Garden appearance, he blamed weak and ineffective U.S. laws.

“Our immigration laws in this country are a total disaster,” Trump said. “They are laughed at all over the world, and I think we have to have strong immigration laws.”

Still, there are Americans who side with the migrants. A number of San Diego residents have crossed the border to offer food, diapers and other provisions.

“There’s a lot of people that care about them. They should be let into the United States and they’re sitting here; babies, and mothers, and, don’t get me started, I’ll cry,” said Ricki Wagner, who had crossed the border that morning to bring hot dogs and canned goods.

As the migrants vow to remain entrenched until US authorities hear their asylum cases, the ball is now firmly in America’s court.