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Let us in: 345 migrants in caravan criticized by Trump arrive at US border

Around 345 migrants travelling in a caravan sharply criticized by President Donald Trump have now arrived at the US border where many intend to meet with American supporters and request asylum.

Members of the caravan have been gradually arriving at their final destination of Tijuana in Mexico over the previous week, and around 200 of them intend to seek to apply for entry into the US on Sunday, according to the organization behind the effort.

Those applying for asylum will spend Saturday receiving legal training to understand immigration law before being met by supporters from Los Angeles at Friendship Park, where people in the US and Mexico can talk through a border fence.

Members of the caravan – pictured on Saturday – have been gradually arriving at their final destination of Tijuana in Mexico over the previous week, and around 200 of them intend to seek to apply for entry into the US on Sunday

They will spend Saturday receiving legal training to understand immigration law before being met by supporters from Los Angeles at Friendship Park, where people in the US and Mexico can talk through a border fence.

They will spend Saturday receiving legal training to understand immigration law before being met by supporters from Los Angeles at Friendship Park, where people in the US and Mexico can talk through a border fence.

 Karina from Honduras, a migrant travelling in the "Migrant Via Crucis" caravan, looks on to the border as the caravan members get legal counseling in Tijuana

 Karina from Honduras, a migrant travelling in the ‘Migrant Via Crucis’ caravan, looks on to the border as the caravan members get legal counseling in Tijuana

Caravans have been a fairly common tactic for advocacy groups to bring attention to asylum-seekers. 

However, the latest gained huge visibility after President Donald Trump unleashed strong criticism from the moment it began March 25 in the Mexican city of Tapachula, near the Guatemala border.

The caravan drew as many as 1,000 people as it crossed Mexico as Trump and top aides portrayed them as a significant threat and evidence of a dysfunctional border.

Trump cited the caravan as justification for the border wall he wants to build on Thursday, even though the asylum-seekers plan to turn themselves in to border inspectors and are legally entitled to seek protection. 

He said he ordered the Homeland Security Department to ‘stop the caravan’ but that more needs to be done.

‘We need a strong, impenetrable WALL that will end this problem once and for all,’ he wrote to campaign supporters.

Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said late Wednesday that any person trying to cross into the U.S. who makes false claims to immigration authorities will subject to criminal prosecution. 

She said prosecution was also possible for any people who might assist or coach immigrants to make false claims in bids to enter the U.S.

Those applying for asylum will spend Saturday receiving legal training to understand immigration law before being met by supporters from Los Angeles at Friendship Park, where people in the US and Mexico can talk through a border fence

Those applying for asylum will spend Saturday receiving legal training to understand immigration law before being met by supporters from Los Angeles at Friendship Park, where people in the US and Mexico can talk through a border fence

Members of the caravan arrive at the Padre Chava's soup kitchen for breakfast and legal counseling, in Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico

Members of the caravan arrive at the Padre Chava’s soup kitchen for breakfast and legal counseling, in Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico

Caravans have been a fairly common tactic for advocacy groups to bring attention to asylum-seekers. Pictured: Migrants at Padre Chava's soup kitchen

Caravans have been a fairly common tactic for advocacy groups to bring attention to asylum-seekers. Pictured: Migrants at Padre Chava’s soup kitchen

Nielsen’s threat is consistent with the administration’s narrative of widespread asylum fraud and claims that asylum-seekers are coached on what to tell US authorities. 

The secretary also said asylum seekers in the caravan should seek protection in the first safe country they reach, including Mexico.

The US government is marshaling resources to ensure that cases are promptly decided, Nielsen said. 

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said he may assign additional immigration judges to handle cases involving members of the caravan.

As Sunday’s showdown at the busy Tijuana-San Diego border crossing neared, Amnesty International hoisted a billboard promoting the right to asylum in the U.S. on a truck in Tijuana that drove around the city.

Four locations in Tijuana were being set up for lawyers to tell the migrants what they should expect when they turn themselves in to U.S. custody for questioning by immigration officers.

Trump cited the caravan as justification for the border wall he wants to build on Thursday, even though the asylum-seekers plan to turn themselves in to border inspectors and are legally entitled to seek protection.

Trump cited the caravan as justification for the border wall he wants to build on Thursday, even though the asylum-seekers plan to turn themselves in to border inspectors and are legally entitled to seek protection.

Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said late Wednesday that any person trying to cross into the U.S. who makes false claims to immigration authorities will subject to criminal prosecution. Pictured: A father with his daughter in Tijuana

Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said late Wednesday that any person trying to cross into the U.S. who makes false claims to immigration authorities will subject to criminal prosecution. Pictured: A father with his daughter in Tijuana

Carlos, from Guatemala, plays with his friend Emmanuel at Tunnel House in Tijuana where migrants are receiving legal counseling before attempting to claim asylum in the US

Carlos, from Guatemala, plays with his friend Emmanuel at Tunnel House in Tijuana where migrants are receiving legal counseling before attempting to claim asylum in the US

It is unclear how many people will eventually petition for asylum. 

Jose Maria Garcia Lara, president of the Juventud 2000 shelter in Tijuana, said about 35 percent of more than 100 people on a Central American caravan last November decided to stay in Tijuana.

The Juventud 2000 shelter, on the edge of Tijuana’s red-light district, was filled with colorful dome-shaped tents and was housing more than 150 people on Thursday.

Guatemalan Ignacio Villatoro, 41, said Trump’s rhetoric about the caravan saddened him because he felt it might lessen chances of getting asylum for himself, his wife and four children. He still plans to attempt on Sunday.

‘God is just and powerful,’ he said, lingering outside his tent. ‘A miracle is going to touch the hearts of immigration agents and the president.’

The Villatoros fled a town near the Mexican border for reasons Ignacio declined to discuss because he said he feared for his family’s safety.

They hope to join relatives in Los Angeles, where he said his children could learn English, go to school, play in parks and buy toys – luxuries that are out of reach to them in Guatemala.   

t is unclear how many people will eventually petition for asylum. Jose Maria Garcia Lara, president of the Juventud 2000 shelter in Tijuana, said about 35 percent of more than 100 people on a  caravan last November decided to stay in Tijuana

t is unclear how many people will eventually petition for asylum. Jose Maria Garcia Lara, president of the Juventud 2000 shelter in Tijuana, said about 35 percent of more than 100 people on a caravan last November decided to stay in Tijuana

Carlos and Emmanuel, both from Guatemala, play on a balcony at Tunnel House in Tijuana, which overlooks the border fence into the US

Carlos and Emmanuel, both from Guatemala, play on a balcony at Tunnel House in Tijuana, which overlooks the border fence into the US

US lawyer Nicole Ramos arrives at the Padre Chava's soup kitchen to give legal counseling to Central American migrants travelling in the "Migrant Via Crucis" caravan

US lawyer Nicole Ramos arrives at the Padre Chava’s soup kitchen to give legal counseling to Central American migrants travelling in the “Migrant Via Crucis” caravan



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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