Caravan members may be planning 'human stampede' at US border
With the U.S. military being redeployed from the southern border, the founder of the aid group Angels without Borders claims that "thousands" of migrants in the caravan that arrived at the U.S. border may be prepared to cross the border in such great numbers that it would overwhelm the border patrol.
Members of the caravan pulled a similar stunt a few weeks ago at the Guatemala-Mexico border. At that time, several Mexican border guards and caravan members were injured in the mêlée.
"They have that intention," Sergio Tamai, a founder of Angels without Borders, a group helping the migrants, told Telemundo 20 in San Diego. "I believe that thousands could make that jump."
At least 3,000 migrants have already arrived in Tijuana, a border city across from San Diego, Calif., the past two weeks. The federal government estimates the number of migrants could grow to 10,000 in the coming weeks, or months.
Those already in the city have camped out in tents, slept on dirt fields or under bleachers or are staying in overcrowded shelters throughout the city as they wait to figure out their next steps.
But some are growing impatient, and believe their best option is to plan a mass crossing.
"Most of us, yes, we want to be on the other side," Jorge Molina, a Honduran migrant, told Telemundo. "Some want to jump over the wall, others to go another way, and others want to wait and see what kind of response they get."
Those who want to "wait and see" what the U.S. is going to do won't have long to wait.
Central Americans who arrive at U.S. border crossings seeking asylum in the United States will have to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed under sweeping new measures the Trump administration is preparing to implement, according to internal planning documents and three Department of Homeland Security officials familiar with the initiative.
According to DHS memos obtained by The Washington Post on Wednesday, Central American asylum seekers who cannot establish a "reasonable fear" of persecution in Mexico will not be allowed to enter the United States and would be turned around at the border.
The plan, called "Remain in Mexico," amounts to a major break with current screening procedures, which generally allow those who establish a fear of return to their home countries to avoid immediate deportation and remain in the United States until they can get a hearing with an immigration judge. Trump despises this system, which he calls "catch and release," and has vowed to end it.
The U.S. is currently involved in talks with Mexico about what to do with the thousands of caravan members – with more on the way – who are currently in Tijuana. But with more caravans on the way from other Central American countries, Trump wants to make a strong, unmistakable statement about how these refugees should go about applying for asylum in the U.S.
Considering that a hearing before an immigration judge will take years, it's either force them to stay in Mexico or allow them into the U.S. where they can pretty much disappear if they choose to.
I see nothing wrong with this policy. We have an absolute sovereign right to determine our own asylum procedures. More than 190 other countries are able to do it; why can't we? It is a continuing source of amazement that so many object to the United States formulating policies that protect our sovereignty, as well as the safety of our citizens, according to our own lights.
This would be an important and necessary policy change since it appears that we are going to have to deal with several more of these caravans until the people of Central America realize they can't just waltz up to the border and plead "persecution."