Hundreds in Caravan at Border in Tijuana Seek Asylum in US

ALFREDO ESTRELLA  AFP  Getty Images

Numerous immigrants who spoke at length with Reuters at various points during their trip through Mexico had been short on knowledge of their legal rights, but at least 24 recounted detailed stories of facing death threats. Another 300 migrants traveling with the group plan to remain in Mexico.

Why does he say we need the wall?

She's part of an annual caravan that started in Chiapas, traveled up the Pacific Coast to Mexico City, through Sinaloa and eventually to Tijuana.

Asylum seekers like Miriam are following USA law.

The caravan that left the Guatemala-Mexico border in late March grew over the past month to more than 1,000 migrants who found safety travelling in numbers.

But Maureen Meyer of the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights advocacy group, said that "it's naive to think that most of the Central Americans will want to request asylum in Mexico".

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said asylum claims will be resolved "efficiently and expeditiously" and warned that anyone making false claims could be prosecuted and said asylum seekers should seek protection in the first safe country they reach, including Mexico.

Today's group is expected to be the largest and most public of this caravan to approach US border officials, though exactly how many will seek asylum was not known.

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In an interview, Pete Flores, the top official for CBP's San Diego field office, said asylum procedures at the US border crossings have not changed, and the "status quo" remained in effect. The federal government has halved the United States annual refugee quota to 50,000 people.

Migrants have scaled the United States border wall after being told they won't be allowed in. She was anxious Mexican immigration authorities would deport her and her kids so she linked up with the caravan. The migrants themselves insist they are fleeing danger, not bringing it with them. At President Trump's urging, Mexico stepped in and offered asylum to some and said it deported at least 400 others - but some 600 said they were intent on reaching the U.S. We want to make very clear to the folks who are in the caravan and those across the country that Trump's voice is not the only voice in this country. "And besides, I can't go home". She didn't know where she was going, just that she was going to the United States, she said.

Until now, waiting near the gate for the past 24 hours had been the worst part of the journey, said Luisa Cruz, 44, from Nicaragua, which she had fled with her daughter after a case of domestic violence.

Leo Olsen, one of the caravan organizers, said as he waited with 30 of the asylum seekers near USA border officials: "We're shocked that the port of entry would be at such capacity to not be able to receive any asylum seekers". He wore a tattered Philadelphia Eagles cap and arrived in Tijuana Thursday leading a busload of women and children. "If you enter the United States at any place other than a Port of Entry it is a crime". A migrant who gave her name as Katerine sat in Tijuana with her baby girl, Ashley, on her lap. Then the family will attempt to reunite.

Nefi Hernandez, 24, said a gang in his hometown of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, threatened to kill him and his family if he did not sell drugs.

"Mexico has the absolute power not to let these large "Caravans" of people enter their country".

Elin Orrellana, a 23-year-old pregnant woman from El Salvador, said she is fleeing the violent MS-13 street gang, a favorite target of both Sessions and Trump due to their brutal killings in communities in the United States.

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