Migrants attempt morning clamber over border after Trump shut crossing
The dawn raiders: Dozens of migrants attempt early-morning clamber over Mexico border fence after Trump stepped up patrols and shut down Tijuana crossing to block ‘very bad thugs’ reaching US soil
- The migrant caravan of Central Americans has been heading to the US by the thousands for three years
- Three weeks ago US border patrol and military shut down the border crossing between Mexico and California
- Families with small children are still hoping to gain asylum in the US but Trump has called them an ‘invasion’
- The death of a Guatemalan girl, 7, in custody of US border agents has raised questions about Trump’s policy
Dozens of Central Americans are still preparing to scale the border fence from Mexico into the United States, three weeks after the border patrol and US military shut down the crossing between Tijuana in Mexico and San Ysidro in California.
Migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have been heading northward by the tens of thousands for the past three years, with an increasing number of families with small children and unaccompanied children making the trek and hoping to gain asylum inside the United States.
‘We will NOT let these Caravans, which are also made up of some very bad thugs and gang members, into the U.S. Our Border is sacred, must come in legally,’ Trump tweeted as they approached the border.
Migrants from Honduras, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, walk next to the border fence as they prepare to cross it illegally, in Tijuana, Mexico
Honduran migrants including a family with a young baby jump over a border fence into the U.S. from Tijuana, Mexico December 14
Photographs from Friday show groups of families some with young children and babies, trying their luck before the sun has risen in the hope of successfully entering the US.
Those that get across face arrest. Children are separated from their families and, along with unaccompanied children who enter the country illegally, are sent off to a web of special camps.
They held there until a family member or sponsor already residing in the United States agrees to take care of them.
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The sheer volume of undocumented immigrants – which topped 520,000 in fiscal 2018 – has pushed the number of children in the camps to nearly 15,000 currently.
Officials say on average it takes 60 days to resettle them.
Migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have been heading northward by the tens of thousands for the past three years
A migrant child sleeps while he is carried by family to the border fence in order to cross into the U.S. from Tijuana, Mexico
Those that get across face arrest. Children are separated from their families and, along with unaccompanied children who enter the country illegally, are sent off to a web of special camps
The death of a seven-year-old Guatemalan girl last week in the custody of US border agents sparked furor Friday and raised new pressure on the Trump administration’s efforts to halt the migration of Central American families.
The Department of Homeland Security confirmed the December 8 death of the girl, saying she died in an El Paso, Texas hospital less than 24 hours after being detained as part of a group of 163 illegal border crossers in a remote New Mexico border area.
A Guatemalan official identified her as Jackeline Caal, who was traveling with her father Nery Caal, 29.
A Honduran mother and child walk next to the border crossing between Tijuana in Mexico and San Ysidro in California
Children are separated from their families and, along with unaccompanied children who enter the country illegally, are sent off to a web of special camps
Children are carried by their parents as they head toward the border in the hope of crossing into and eventually claiming asylum in the US
White House deputy spokesman Hogan Gidley called Caal’s death ‘a horrific, tragic situation,’ but also said it was avoidable.
‘It’s a needless death and it’s 100 percent preventable,’ he told reporters.
‘If we could just come together and pass some common-sense laws to disincentivize people from coming up from the border and encourage them to do it the right way, the legal way, then those types of deaths, those types of assaults, those types of rapes, the child smuggling, the human trafficking that would all come to an end.’
Workers on the U.S. side, work on the border wall between Mexico and the U.S.,as seen from Tijuana, Mexico, December 14, 2018
An increasing number of families with small children and unaccompanied children making the trek and hoping to gain asylum inside the United States
A family with a young child run next to the border fence as they prepare to cross it illegally, in Tijuana, Mexico, December 14
But Democrats in Congress assailed the administration’s get-tough policies on immigrants attempting to cross the border illegally.
‘This could be my daughter or yours, let that sink in America,’ said newly elected Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, herself a refugee from Somalia.
Senator Kamala Harris condemned the ‘tragic’ death.
‘We need a thorough account of what happened before this 7-year-old girl died of dehydration and exhaustion in CBP custody,’ she tweeted.
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