And the Caravan continues its way to Tijuana

Men, women and children traveled under Mexican federal police escort on a curvy, mountainous road from the Mexican border city of Mexicali to Tijuana to join up with about 175 others already there.

MEXICALI, Mexico — About 170 people in a caravan of Central Americans traveled in tourist buses Thursday for the final leg of their monthlong journey to seek asylum in the United States, despite warnings from the Trump administration that they could be prosecuted, detained and quickly deported.

Men, women and children traveled under Mexican federal police escort on a curvy, mountainous road from the Mexican border city of Mexicali to Tijuana to join up with about 175 others already there.

Lawyers planned free workshops on the U.S. immigration system on Friday and Saturday in Tijuana. Many planned to seek asylum starting Sunday at San Diego’s San Ysidro border crossing, the nation’s busiest.

Migrant shelters in Tijuana’s Zona Norte neighborhood, home to the many of the city’s seedy bars and bordellos, were full. That forced organizers to look elsewhere for temporary housing, said Leonard Olsen of Pueblos Sin Fronteras, a group leading the effort.

Migrants who stayed overnight at a shelter in Mexicali were tired from the long journey and nervous about the possibility of being detained in the U.S. but also knowledgeable about their rights to seek protection from persecution in their home countries, Olsen said. Many Central American asylum seekers say they face death threats by criminal gangs in their homelands.

“This is a moment that will change their lives,” Olsen said in Mexicali, as he waited for the buses to arrive a few hours behind schedule.

Caravans have been a fairly common tactic for advocacy groups to bring attention to asylum-seekers and the latest group pales in size compared to previous border surges, but it gained huge visibility after President Donald Trump unleashed strong criticism from the moment it began March 25 in the Mexican city of Tapachula, near the Guatemala border.

The caravan drew as many as 1,000 people as it crossed Mexico as Trump and top aides portrayed them as a significant threat and evidence of a dysfunctional border.

Source: http://www.theledger.com

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