The first round of 50 migrants have finally arrived at the American border with more on the way. These migrants were part of the large migrant caravan that at one point numbered over 1,500 people, but the group officially disbanded in Mexico City. Even before the caravan officially disbanded, many migrants decided to leave the group after President Trump sent the National Guard to the U.S. border. Plus, Mexican authorities began cracking down on illegal migrants, according to Fox News.
The migrants are comprised of citizens from several countries, including Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Mexican authorities have uncovered hundreds of migrants in recent weeks, many found in vehicles without food or water. Last Thursday, over 191 migrants were found in a truck and bus. Another 103 migrants were found in a truck in Veracruz, over half of which were minors. The 103 people had survived two days without any food or water when they were discovered. In addition, there is another group of 500 migrants arriving at the border on a freight train, according to the Daily Mail. These groups are likely splinter cells of the original caravan because many people decided to stick together when they left Mexico City to continue their trek to the U.S. border.
A migrant rights group, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, claimed that people are being unrightfully turned away and not being processed properly at the border. There is a clear process for gaining asylum, which starts with an application. The person then goes through a security check and a safety interview. If the person passes both the interview and screening, they can be released on parole or are held in detention until their immigration hearing. A judge then determines whether the asylum is granted or denied, according to Newsweek. Some argue that releasing people on parole is a loophole. People could opt to disappear and not show up at their hearing, by which point they’ve successfully gained illegal entry into the country.
Seeking asylum is different than seeking citizenship. According to Human Rights First, people must be “at risk of harm in their home countries because of who they are — because of their religion, political opinion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, for example — if the governments in their home countries will not protect them.” It remains to be seen whether the migrants will meet the requirements for asylum.