Feds process asylum-seekers from caravan criticized by Trump

A migrant father and child rest where they set up camp to wait for access to request asylum in the US, outside the El Chaparral port of entry building in Tijuana, Mexico. (AP Photo/Hans-Maximo Musielik)

U.S. border inspectors allowed some of the Central American asylum-seekers to enter the country for processing, ending a brief impasse over lack of space.

Posted: May 1, 2018 7:55 AM

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — U.S. border inspectors allowed some of the Central American asylum-seekers to enter the country for processing, ending a brief impasse over lack of space. Now, the migrants who crossed Mexico in a caravan may face a long legal path.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection didn’t say how many caravan members were allowed in Monday, but organizers said there were eight.

About 140 others were still waiting in Mexico to turn themselves in at San Diego’s San Ysidro border crossing, the nation’s busiest, said Alex Mensing, project organizer for Pueblo Sin Fronteras, which is leading the caravan.

“The spirits are high, there was good news for everybody,” Mensing said on the Mexican side of the crossing, moments after learning that some were allowed in.

American attorneys who volunteered advice in Tijuana last week warned the Central Americans that parents may be separated from their children and be detained for many months while their asylum cases are pending.

Asylum-seekers are typically held up to three days at the border and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If they pass an asylum officer’s initial screening, they may be detained or released with ankle monitors while their cases wind through immigration court, which can take years.

Nearly 80 percent of asylum-seekers passed the initial screening from October through December, but few are likely to win asylum.

The denial rate for El Salvadorans seeking asylum was 79 percent from 2012 to 2017, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse. Hondurans were close behind with a 78 percent denial rate, followed Guatemalans at 75 percent.

Trump administration officials have railed against what they call “legal loopholes” and “catch-and-release” policies that allow people seeking asylum to be freed while their cases are adjudicated. The president tweeted Monday that the caravan “shows how weak & ineffective U.S. immigration laws are.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has pledged to send more immigration judges to the border if needed and threatened criminal prosecution. On Monday, the Justice Department said it filed illegal entry charges against 11 people identified as caravan members.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it processed hundreds of asylum-seekers in the previous week, many of them Mexican, which contributed to a bottleneck that led inspectors to turn away caravan members since they arrived late Sunday afternoon.

Asylum-seekers didn’t appear to be thrown off the by the delay.

Elin Orrellana, a 23-year-old pregnant woman from El Salvador, said she is fleeing the violent MS-13 street gang, a favorite target of both Sessions and Trump because of their brutal killings in communities in the United States. She said her older sister had been killed by the gang in El Salvador, so she is attempting to join other family members in the Kansas City area.

“Fighting on is worth it,” she said as she camped out Sunday for chilly night outside the border crossing.

Customs and Border Protection has room for about 300 people at the San Diego border crossing.

“As in the past when we’ve had to limit the number of people we can bring in for processing at a given time, we expect that this will be a temporary situation,” the agency said.

During a surge of Haitian arrivals at the San Diego crossing in 2016, Customs and Border Protection required people to wait more than five weeks in Mexico. Since then, smaller upticks of Mexican asylum-seekers have caused delays of several hours.

Terre Haute
Few Clouds
51° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 51°
Robinson
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 48°
Indianapolis
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 56°
Rockville
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 50°
Casey
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 55°
Brazil
Few Clouds
51° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 51°
Marshall
Few Clouds
51° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 51°
Clear, Cool Overnight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 283559

Reported Deaths: 8774
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1414305187
DuPage17091554
Lake16636487
Will13720376
Kane12889325
St. Clair6421188
Winnebago5634149
Madison5511136
Champaign453820
McHenry4506118
Peoria335249
McLean322322
Rock Island290175
Kankakee269477
Sangamon231144
Unassigned2244236
Kendall196625
Tazewell167821
LaSalle165856
DeKalb152638
Macon145444
Coles141730
Williamson137142
Jackson125024
Clinton110120
Boone108223
Adams105510
Randolph92811
Effingham8481
Whiteside71320
Vermilion6734
Ogle6626
Grundy6545
Henry6475
Monroe64215
Morgan64023
Knox6313
Bureau61211
Jefferson58438
Marion5270
Macoupin5237
Franklin5143
Union50724
Stephenson4986
Christian46311
McDonough46015
Logan4481
Crawford4203
Woodford4126
Cass39311
Fayette3893
Jersey38714
Shelby3664
Iroquois35919
Livingston3556
Lee3531
Montgomery34813
Perry34215
Warren3192
Saline3073
Bond3045
Douglas2937
Wayne2645
Jo Daviess2532
Lawrence2522
Carroll2184
Greene2187
Moultrie2083
Cumberland2044
Jasper2039
Washington2031
Hancock2013
Richland1764
Pulaski1671
White1640
Fulton1570
Clark1562
Johnson1490
Wabash1491
Clay1420
Mason1341
Mercer1335
Piatt1320
Pike1211
Menard1200
Edgar1128
Massac1062
De Witt1051
Ford1005
Marshall990
Scott760
Alexander741
Gallatin712
Hamilton670
Henderson660
Edwards640
Putnam550
Stark542
Schuyler480
Calhoun470
Brown450
Hardin370
Pope261
Out of IL30

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 114236

Reported Deaths: 3548
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21067764
Lake10397321
Elkhart6477109
St. Joseph6312105
Allen6113201
Hamilton4803109
Vanderburgh353630
Hendricks2694123
Monroe253136
Tippecanoe234713
Johnson2291123
Clark218756
Porter210546
Cass19399
Delaware191861
Vigo180324
Madison161975
LaPorte140540
Floyd135161
Howard129263
Warrick123436
Kosciusko121117
Bartholomew115557
Marshall99724
Dubois96418
Boone96046
Hancock91743
Grant90334
Noble90032
Henry79326
Wayne75114
Jackson7469
Morgan70938
Shelby66829
Daviess65828
Dearborn64728
LaGrange63411
Clinton59514
Harrison56624
Putnam54211
Knox5139
Lawrence51028
Montgomery50721
Gibson4964
White48314
DeKalb46811
Decatur45839
Miami4313
Greene42235
Fayette41913
Jasper3902
Steuben3787
Scott36711
Sullivan33312
Posey3160
Jennings31212
Franklin30325
Clay2995
Orange28824
Ripley2878
Carroll27313
Wabash2638
Washington2631
Whitley2617
Starke2597
Adams2553
Wells2513
Jefferson2473
Fulton2352
Spencer2283
Huntington2253
Tipton22122
Perry21613
Randolph2117
Jay1760
Newton17211
Owen1681
Martin1640
Rush1544
Pike1431
Vermillion1270
Fountain1202
Pulaski1161
Blackford1143
Brown1043
Crawford1040
Parke972
Benton880
Ohio787
Union780
Switzerland690
Warren391
Unassigned0226