Late Monday, the United States allowed eight people from the Central American “Viacrucis Migrante” caravan to cross the Mexican border into U.S. territory to seek asylum.
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers ushered the travelers – who have been camped out at the entrance since Sunday – through a door into the San Ysidro port of entry. Members of the caravan cheered when the group was allowed to cross over. The group consists of four children, three women and an 18-year-old male.
“We began processing undocumented arrivals again on Monday,” a CBP spokeswoman said, adding that the number of individuals they could process in a day varied. “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.”
Some 150 others will continue their stay outside San Ysidro for a second-straight night, hoping to be afforded a similar courtesy.
U.S. President Donald Trump has made several comments demanding that changes be made to United States law to strengthen the border and stop the flow of migrants into the country.
"Catch and release is ridiculous. If they touch our property, if they touch our country, essentially you catch them and you release them into our country. That's not acceptable to anybody, so we need a change in the law," Trump said.
The president, who has been especially vocal since the caravan left Central America, again, commented that U.S. immigration laws are ineffective, adding that the caravan was violating the border.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who paid a visit to the region, stated that the caravan members would be processed in line with the law. International rules dictate that the United States accepts asylum applications.
Pence remarked that U.S. immigration laws needed to remove “incentives” for migrants.
The caravan began the arduous 3,200-kilometer month-long trek to the U.S. border – from south Mexico – with some 1,500 people.
The members of the “Viacrucis Migrante” caravan have listed fleeing death threats, extortion and violence-plagued neighborhoods as reasons for leaving their respective countries.
The asylum seekers are now required to convince U.S. officials they have reason to fear returning home, by demonstrating the existence of certain persecution in their home countries.