US ordered to restart asylum requests, as Central American migrants approach border

World Today

The White House is criticizing a federal judge who ruled President Trump cannot deny asylum to migrants who enter the U.S. illegally.

CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.

“This decision will open the floodgates, inviting countless illegal aliens to pour into our country on the American taxpayer’s dime,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. “Today’s ruling is contrary to well-established Federal law, the Attorney General’s and Secretary of Homeland Security’s discretion under the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the President’s own Constitutional and statutory authority.”

The ruling came as thousands prepare to cross America’s southern border.

In a Mexicali, Mexico park, they wait — about 6,000 Central American migrants. Many headed for Tijuana early Tuesday.

“Part of the people want to stay here to ask for asylum here in Mexico. And there are people that want to keep going and get to Tijuana,” said Honduran migrant Walter Coello.

In Tijuana – on the border of southern California – migrants have been arriving for days. Right now, they must present themselves at U.S. ports of entry to apply for refugee status. That order-temporarily overturned by a federal judge late Monday night.

“My compatriots and myself are waiting for our number to request asylum,” said Alexander Vela, a migrant from El Salvador. “When we are given a number, we wait. I don’t know how long it will take to be called up so that we can go through U.S. immigration, but we are told, it could take up to at least a month or two.”

This is what awaits them on the U.S. side of the border. Metal and concrete barricades strung with razor wire.

And 5,800 U.S. soldiers. Trump ordered troops to the border before the November sixth congressional election. They’re now expected to start coming home-as early as this week. Most are stationed hundreds of kilometers away. Under U.S. law, they can’t perform law enforcement duties anyway. But in Tijuana Mexico-Mexican demonstrators protest migrants filling up shelters, sleeping in the streets and in tents. Meantime, thousands more are headed north.

Late Tuesday, the Pentagon released an estimate of the cost of deploying the nearly six thousand US troops to the southern border.
The number — $72 million through the middle of next month.