18.04.30 Caravan

April 30, 2018
Quick Reads background image

Caravan Arrives:
Asylum-Seekers At Border

Symbolic moment or political protest?


Caravan 101

Who: Approx. 200 from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

When: On Sunday, the group arrived at the U.S. border, after a monthlong journey through Mexico.

Where:A San Ysidro Port of Entry at the San Diego / Tijuana border.

Why: To obtain *legal* asylum in U.S.

What is legal asylum?

An asylum-seeker is a non-citizen present in U.S. or seeking admission at a port of entry who claims a well-founded fear of persecution based on 1 of 5A ‘protected grounds’:
1. Religion
2. Political opinion
3. Membership in a particular social group
4. Nationality
5. Race

Approx 11% of all asylum applications were granted in 2016

TOP 5 COUNTRIES:A China (21.9%), El Salvador (10.5%), Guatemala (9.5%), Honduras (7.4%) & Mexico (4.5%)

FYI: San Ysidro is the nation’s busiest border crossing. Immigration officials there processed 50 asylum cases a day from Oct – Feb.

Opposing Views: Caravan

“a deliberate attempt to undermine our laws and overwhelm our system”
AG Jeff Sessions

‘For us, this is all about who we are as a country…I want it to be true that when we say, aLiberty & justice for all,’ we mean it.”
Heather Cronk, Showing Up for Racial Justice to NYT

NOW WHAT? Unclear. Generally, asylum-seekers are held for up to three days at the border before they are turned over to immigration authorities for an initial asylum screening.

“Under US immigration law, inspectors have the power to quickly deport individuals who do not have the proper travel or visa documents at the time that they request entry or if the inspector believes that the person requesting entry has committed fraud or misrepresented the truth.

However, if an individual expresses a fear of return to his or her home country, they will not be immediately deported but instead be detained until they undergo a ‘credible fear interview.’

The aim of the interview is for the asylum officer to try to establish if the asylum request is based on a fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political beliefs or membership of a particular group.

If the officer finds that the individual has a chance of proving fear of persecution, the applicant is referred to a judge.”

by Jenna Lee,