President Trump has once again put his foot down, telling the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to turn away 50 Mexican immigrants traveling in by caravan. The group, which was originally comprised of 1,500 people, contained men, women, and children, many of whom were traveling together from various places in Central and South America. “It is a disgrace,” the President tweeted shortly after learning of the event. “We are the only Country in the World so naive! WALL.”
• This isn’t the first time President Trump has spoken out against migrants. Earlier in April, the POTUS proclaimed that “Border Patrol Agents are unable to properly do their jobs” as a result of “ridiculous Liberal laws.” He also called for an end to the DACA deal.
• Mexican officials have been attempting to break up the same caravan for some time now. An earlier exercise in Oaxaca saw hundreds deported back to their countries of origin, while others were granted asylum in Mexico until the court system could deny or approve their requests for refugee status.
• The rest of the caravan, down to just 50 migrants by the time they made it to the US-Mexico border, were turned away once they arrived. International human rights agencies are claiming the refusal was illegal on the basis that the government is supposed to assess each individual for asylum. In this case, all immigrants were turned away without accessing that process.
• This isn’t the first caravan to attempt to access the United States through Mexico. Similar caravans take place every single year during the pre-Easter Holy Week. Many are turned away, while some are granted asylum once they reach the border.
• Alex Mensing, spokesperson for human rights organization Pueblo Sin Fronteras, also believes the refusal was illegal. “There have already been cases of people being illegally turned away by border officials when trying to request asylum at the U.S. border,” he says.
• President Trump told the DHS to set up border patrols at critical areas to prevent any stragglers from gaining access to the country. It wasn’t immediately clear how this would impact places where crossovers are relatively unchecked, including bridges where students cross to go to school. For now, the direction seems to be aimed at the caravan, which many are calling little more than a publicity stunt.