Poll: Is Immigration (Like The Caravan At The U.S.-Mexican Border) Good For America?
The Trump administration follows through with the president’s threats to ‘harden’ the border, leaving a growing number of anxious migrants at the southern frontier.
The U.S. has slashed the number of migrants being allowed to cross the U.S.-Mexican border to legally apply for asylum, as caravans totaling some 10,000 migrants trudge north through Mexico.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has let in one family a day at most, say migrants and their advocates.
Here at the border station across from Yuma, Ariz., 30 families or more normally cross each day, say Mexican immigration officials. But in the last two weeks the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has let in one family a day at most, say migrants and their advocates.
“It really seems like they are trying to discourage people from crossing to seek asylum legally, or trying to get them to go to other border crossings,” said Iveth López, an immigration counselor with Chicanos Por La Causa in Somerton, Ariz. “It’s been bad for a couple of weeks.”
Reports of slowdowns at legal border crossings like this one are becoming commonplace across the 2,000-mile frontier from Texas to California. Immigration lawyers have complained of asylum seekers being blocked in recent days from entering the U.S. from the Mexican border cities of Matamoros, Reynosa and Ciudad Juárez as well.
Last week, U.S. authorities announced they would “harden” the border at Tijuana, closing four lanes of traffic at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa crossings. As some 1,000 migrants arrived in Tijuana one recent day, border-patrol contractors unwound hundreds of yards of razor wire at the beachside border fence, as armed guards looked on.
On Monday morning, thousands of drivers who normally commute each day from Mexico through San Ysidro—the busiest entry point between Tijuana and San Diego—to work on the U.S. side arrived to find the border closed for about three hours during the morning rush.
The closure was in response to intelligence reports, including from the Mexican government, that groups of migrants from the caravan planned to rush the border through the automotive lanes, said a senior Department of Homeland Security official. That led to the closure of eight more lanes at the busy border crossing.
The moves to prevent migrants from entering the U.S. follow a proclamation signed by President Trump blocking access to asylum seekers who illegally cross the border between checkpoints. “Illegal Immigrants trying to come into the U.S.A., often proudly flying the flag of their nation as they ask for U.S. Asylum, will be detained or turned away,” he tweeted on Sunday.
Jennifer Harbury, a civil rights lawyer in Texas, said the U.S administration is making it impossible for migrants apply for asylum. “What Trump is saying is, if you’re a migrant fleeing violence and poverty in Central America, you cannot cross the river or the desert, or you will be sent home to die, and you can’t cross legally and throw yourself at the mercy of immigration officials either,” she said.
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