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‘Migrant Caravan’ stalls in Tijuana, Mexico

May 1, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
‘Migrant Caravan’ stalls in Tijuana, Mexico

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The “migrant caravan” of individuals who are reportedly escaping violence in their native countries is now camped out in the violence-ridden city of Tijuana, Mexico. The migrants seem to be considering President Trump’s threats to prosecute illegal border crossers and people presenting false claims of asylum.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen urged the members and organizers of the “migrant caravan” that individuals who cross into the U.S. illegally, make bogus immigration claims, or assist or train someone on how to make a fake immigration claim will be prosecuted, CBS News reported.

“If you enter illegally, you have broken the law and will be referred for prosecution,” Nielsen said. “If you make a false immigration claim, you have broken the law and will be referred for prosecution. If you assist an individual in making a false immigration claim, you have broken the law and will be referred for prosecution.”

Her comments and several tweets from Trump seem to have hindered the migrants in Tijuana, located south of the Sanctuary State of California.

The U.S.-based group Pueblos Sin Fronteras, an organizer of the “migrant caravan,” said they are bringing in attorneys to “speak with migrants” before they decide if, when, and where to cross into the United States. This could be the type of “coaching” Secretary Nielsen was talking about. “Human rights groups” and lawyers are maintaining that the Trump Administration is infringing the U.S. and international policy by apprehending “asylum seekers” and charging them with illegally entering the country.

The Trump Administration has encouraged migrants to seek asylum in the first country they arrived in after departing their country of origin.

Migrant Andres Rodriguez, a Salvadoran citizen, alleges that his son has received continuous death threats from criminal gangs. He intends to enroll his “studious teenager” in a U.S. university “on day one.”

Some of the groups are intending on crossing to the U.S. on Sunday when they will move forward with asylum cases, Reuters reported.

While the “migrant caravan” started with over 1,000 people, it has diminished in size to somewhere between 300 and 600 migrants.

Roughly 170 migrants arrived in Tijuana. This group joined the nearly 200 migrants who came earlier in the week.

Migrant houses in Tijuana’s Zona Norte have been filled to capacity.

Organizer Leonard Olsen of Pueblos Sin Fronteras said to CNBC that many of the asylum seekers face death threats in their native countries. However, the organizers moved the caravaners directly into one of the most infamous murder regions of Mexico. This month alone, almost 150 people have been killed in Tijuana. Nearly 700 victims were killed in this area since the start of the year.

Tristan Call, a Pueblo Sin Fronteras volunteer, recognized the dangers faced by migrants along their travels. He said his group implemented security for the people who stayed together.

Other migrants told CNBC they still are planning to cross into California in the coming days. One family said they hope to join their family members in Los Angeles “where his children could learn English, go to school, play in parks, and buy toys — indulgences that are out of reach to them in Guatemala.”

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