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First migrant caravan reaches US, Mexico border seeking asylum

April 24, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
First migrant caravan reaches US, Mexico border seeking asylum

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First migrant caravan reaches U.S. border seeking asylum

A group of roughly 50 Central American immigrants who fled southern Mexico last month have reportedly arrived at the U.S. border and intend to seek asylum.

Ever since it peaked at 1,500 people, the migrant “caravan” has mostly shrunk and dispersed under pressure from Mexican authorities, who promised to separate those migrants with a right to stay in Mexico from those who did not, and President Trump, who dispatched troops with the National Guard to help protect the border.

Some of these individuals, who say they are leaving gang-related violence in Honduras, will request asylum in the U.S., Fox News reports.

“Since yesterday, some began to cross into the U.S. to turn themselves in from Tijuana and request asylum. We understand more will do the same,” Jose Maria Garcia, director of Juventud 2000, a group dedicated to helping migrants, told Reuters.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, asylum seekers must “demonstrate [they] have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to” five factors: race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political opinion.

More migrants reportedly will arrive in the upcoming days.

The caravan departed the Guatemala-Mexico border in March and grew to over 1,000 migrants who found safety traveling in numbers. It was to have formally stopped in Mexico City, but many of the migrants were worried about going solo on the dangerous final leg of their trip and decided to keep going together.

Some who had split off to continue on the journey alone reported back about abductions and having their papers for safe passage ripped apart.

Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are among the most violent and poverty-stricken countries in the Americas, which leads many people to leave in search of a safer life.

On Thursday, Mexico’s National Immigration Institute revealed that its agents recovered 191 mostly Central American migrants stuffed into a truck and a bus in southern and central Mexico.

The institute added that 103 migrants were packed into a truck in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz. The people went two days without food or water. All but two are natives of Guatemala, and 55 are juveniles.

Agents also discovered 88 migrants crowded into a bus that had seats for only 42 people in the state of Hidalgo. Eighty are from Guatemala, among them 45 minors accompanied by family members.

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