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The Caravan Arrives at The Border

Just before Passover this Spring, a caravan of refugees began their exodus from Honduras and Guatemala, headed to the US border, their promised land.

On Sunday morning, migrants in the caravan gathered at Friendship Park in Tijuana and prepared to march to the border and then ask for asylum in the United States. Buses carrying members of the caravan reached Tijuana on Tuesday.
In anticipation of the final march, demonstrators lined both sides of the border on Sunday.
For once Trump seems to be keeping his cool.  So far, no shots have been fired.   A few refugees, very few, have been able to get to be interviewed for refugees status.  The rest sit there as a target for TV.

MY GUESS:  According to the AP this is not going to evolve into the sort of publicity beacon or  long term public sore  like a Palestinian camp on the US border.  A few caravan  members have been arrested after illegally crossing into the US.  Others, according to Dan Kowalski, editor of Bender’s Immigration Bulletin, will probably be seen very little “unless the applicant is represented and the attorney makes an effort to bring the client into the limelight.” The San Diego crossing, the nation’s busiest, processed about 50 asylum seekers a day from October through February, suggesting the wait will be short for the 150 now on the south side of the wall unless more arrive.

More from the AP  Under U.S. asylum practices, people spend up to three days at the border inspection facility before being transferred to a long-term detention center. An asylum officer interviews them for an initial screening, usually within a week or so, to determine if their cases should advance to immigration court, which can take several years.

The courts often conduct business behind closed doors. Files are not public, and, unlike criminal or civil courts, access for journalists and others is limited. The caravan’s numbers, while tiny compared to previous surges of Central Americans to South Texas and Haitians to San Diego, will be a test of Trump’s tough words. 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, but any significant changes must be addressed by Congress or in the courts.

Unless, of course, Trump gets excited and then ….

 

 


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