“If members of the ‘caravan’ enter the country illegally, they will be referred for prosecution for illegal entry in accordance with existing law.”
About 3 weeks ago, Legal Insurrection’s Mary Chastain noted that the caravan of immigrants from Central America was continuing its journey to the United States, despite being “disbanded” in Mexico City.
Now, a contingent from that caravan is encamped in the border town of Tijuana.
Numerous tents were set up at the Movimiento Juventud 2000 shelter in Tijuana, just south of California, to house the migrants — who have said they are fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries — before they attempt to surrender at the U.S. Port of Entry.
About 300 migrants are expected to sleep in the shelter before taking the last step of attempting to cross the border and possibly request asylum. It’s the largest number of migrants taking part in the caravan to reach the border — about 50 members arrived late last week, Reuters reported.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has warned the “caravan” of that they could face prosecution, detention, and deportation if they attempt to cross the border illegally.
“DHS continues to monitor the remnants of the ‘caravan’ of individuals headed to our Southern border with the apparent intention of entering the United States illegally,” Nielsen said in a statement. “A sovereign nation that cannot—or worse, chooses not—to defend its borders will soon cease to be a sovereign nation. The Trump administration is committed to enforcing our immigration laws – whether persons are part of this ‘caravan’ or not.”
Nielsen outlined immigration law in her statement, warning those attempting to enter illegally.
“If members of the ‘caravan’ enter the country illegally, they will be referred for prosecution for illegal entry in accordance with existing law,” Nielsen said. “For those seeking asylum, all individuals may be detained while their claims are adjudicated efficiently and expeditiously, and those found not to have a claim will be promptly removed from the United States.”
To expedite the adjudication process, the Trump Administration is sending a “legal response team” of lawyers and judges to the border.
“DHS, in partnership with [the Department of Justice], is taking a number of steps to ensure that all cases and claims are adjudicated promptly,” [Nielsen] said. Those steps, she said, include sending additional attorneys from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, additional asylum officers from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and additional immigration judges and prosecutors from the Department of Justice to the border.
Additionally, President Donald Trump renewed the threat Monday to make tighter control of the southern border a condition of a new and improved North American Free Trade Agreement.
“Mexico, whose laws on immigration are very tough, must stop people from going through Mexico and into the U.S.,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “We may make this a condition of the new NAFTA Agreement.”
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