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Migrant caravan arrives at Mexican border city of Tijuana

Dozens of Central American migrants from about 600 traveling in a ‘caravan’ through Mexico arrived at the border city of Tijuana late on Tuesday despite warnings it would be futile to try to cross to claim asylum in the United States.

By evening, two busloads of men, women and children arrived in Tijuana, a city that grazes southern California, where an early splinter group of 50 arrived on last Wednesday.

The arrivals spilled into the streets and gazed toward San Diego, visible at spots through a rusty barrier or across a pedestrian bridge, exhausted after their trek that began a month ago near Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala.

Two busloads of Central American migrants from about 600 traveling in a ‘caravan’ through Mexico arrived at the border city of Tijuana late on Tuesday despite warnings it would be futile to try to cross to claim asylum in the United States

Many who fled their homes in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras because of what they described as lethal threats or political persecution have clung to the hope of receiving asylum in the United States, but this seems unlikely 

Many who fled their homes in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras because of what they described as lethal threats or political persecution have clung to the hope of receiving asylum in the United States, but this seems unlikely 

Honduran siblings Carolina right (right) and Byron Garcia, are back dropped by the US border fence while travelling on a bus, in the outskirts of Tijuana

Honduran siblings Carolina right (right) and Byron Garcia, are back dropped by the US border fence while travelling on a bus, in the outskirts of Tijuana

Another four busloads were making their way north from Hermosillo, a city 432 miles south of the border, where the migrants had been stalled for days.

Many who fled their homes in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras because of what they described as lethal threats or political persecution have clung to the hope of receiving asylum in the United States. 

However, US President Donald Trump has ordered officials to repel them.

Rodrigo Abeja, a coordinator from immigrant rights group Pueblo Sin Fronteras that has been organizing similar caravans for several years, said the caravan planned to regroup before making any decisions.

‘They will wait for all those seeking asylum to be together,’ Abeja said.

A third group, resigned to staying in Mexico, awaited processing for year-long visas by immigration authorities in Hermosillo.

Traveling as a group for safety, their numbers were down from a peak of about 1,500 people, dwindling under the twin pressures of waiting for transportation and attacks by Trump, who began lashing out at the caravan on Twitter in early April.

After Trump’s comments, Mexican authorities stalled the caravan in a southern town and began handing out temporary visas that gave them legal status to travel to the border. 

Traveling as a group for safety, the group's numbers were down from a peak of about 1,500 people, dwindling under the twin pressures of waiting for transportation and attacks by Trump, who began lashing out at the caravan on Twitter in early April

Traveling as a group for safety, the group’s numbers were down from a peak of about 1,500 people, dwindling under the twin pressures of waiting for transportation and attacks by Trump, who began lashing out at the caravan on Twitter in early April

The arrivals spilled into the streets and gazed toward San Diego, visible at spots through a rusty barrier or across a pedestrian bridge, exhausted after their trek that began a month ago near Mexico's southern border with Guatemala

The arrivals spilled into the streets and gazed toward San Diego, visible at spots through a rusty barrier or across a pedestrian bridge, exhausted after their trek that began a month ago near Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala

Central American migrants travelling in the Migrant Via Crucis (migrant way of the cross) caravan arrive at Juventud 2000 shelter in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico

Central American migrants travelling in the Migrant Via Crucis (migrant way of the cross) caravan arrive at Juventud 2000 shelter in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico

Trump tweeted Monday: ‘I have instructed the Secretary of Homeland Security not to let these large Caravans of people into our 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,’ Trump 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.

Many of the migrants say they are fleeing gang violence and extortion in Honduras and El Salvador.

The U.S. government ‘should be more understanding of the women and children in this caravan … and the dangers they face in their countries,’ Mujica said.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday that he told his offices in border states to ‘take whatever immediate action to ensure that we have sufficient prosecutors available’ and that he may transfer immigration judges to the border. 

A Central American child migrant, moving in a caravan through Mexico and traveling to request asylum in the US, is seen inside a tent at the Juventus 2000 shelter after arriving to Tijuana

A Central American child migrant, moving in a caravan through Mexico and traveling to request asylum in the US, is seen inside a tent at the Juventus 2000 shelter after arriving to Tijuana

Trump tweeted Monday: 'I have instructed the Secretary of Homeland Security not to let these large Caravans of people into our Country.' Pictured: Migrants in Tijuana

Trump tweeted Monday: ‘I have instructed the Secretary of Homeland Security not to let these large Caravans of people into our Country.’ Pictured: Migrants in Tijuana

Migrants, moving in a caravan through Mexico and traveling to request asylum in the US, are registered to enter the Juventus 2000 shelter

Migrants, moving in a caravan through Mexico and traveling to request asylum in the US, are registered to enter the Juventus 2000 shelter

He said caravan members have ignored the Mexican government’s willingness to let them stay in Mexico.

‘Let today’s message be clear: Our nation has the most generous immigration system in the world, but this is a deliberate attempt to undermine our laws and overwhelm our system,’ Sessions said.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday that ‘DHS continues to monitor the remnants of the ‘caravan’ of individuals headed to our Southern border with the apparent intention of entering the United States illegally.’

‘If members of the ‘caravan’ enter the country illegally, they will be referred for prosecution for illegal entry in accordance with existing law,’ Nielsen said in a statement. ‘For those seeking asylum, all individuals may be detained while their claims are adjudicated efficiently and expeditiously, and those found not to have a claim will be promptly removed from the United States.’

She 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,’ the statement said.  

A young man looks out of the front of a coach carrying dozens of migrants as it arrives at Tijuana in Mexico on Tuesday evening 

A young man looks out of the front of a coach carrying dozens of migrants as it arrives at Tijuana in Mexico on Tuesday evening 

Central American migrants are reflected in a mirror while travelling in the Migrant Via Crucis caravan in Tijuana northwestern Mexico

Central American migrants are reflected in a mirror while travelling in the Migrant Via Crucis caravan in Tijuana northwestern Mexico

Men, women and children from the migrant caravan gather together on the streets of Tijuana after arriving there on Tuesday evening

Men, women and children from the migrant caravan gather together on the streets of Tijuana after arriving there on Tuesday evening

 



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