San Ysidro Border Crossing Full as Migrant Caravan Seeks Entry into U.S.

Officials at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection turned away a large group of Central American migrants at San Diego’s San Ysidro crossing earlier this weekend. The group of about 200 people traveled by caravan to the California border with the intention of asking for asylum in the United States. The caravan’s plight became national news after President Donald Trump and many Trump Administration officials labeled the group a threat to national security. Despite the president’s statements, group leaders say they are no threat to the United States. Instead, the group says that conditions in their homelands are too dangerous, and they are seeking a safe place to raise their families.

Prior to the caravan’s arrival, immigration officials at San Ysidro warned that they would not be able to accommodate any further asylum seekers. The busiest border crossing in the country, San Ysidro only has space to process 300 people at a time. In a statement released in expectation of the caravan, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Kevin McAleelan said, “At this time, we have reached capacity at the San Ysidro port of entry for CBP officers to be able to bring additional persons traveling without appropriate entry documentation into the port of entry for processing.” McAleelan added that migrants would have to wait in Mexico until immigration officials processed more people and space was made available at the San Ysidro facility.

Even if permitted entry into the U.S., asylum seekers in the caravan face an uncertain future, with the possibility of being separated from their children or even months of detention as they navigate the immigration process. Most Trump Administration officials see the caravan as a well-organized attempt at undermining federal law and immigration standards. Nevertheless, many Americans are strong supporters of the caravan and want to help the asylum seekers achieve a better life in the United States. Advocates for the group at Showing Up for Racial Justice are organizing volunteer efforts to help the migrants, with many offering to sponsor them and provide housing for families in the caravan.

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