Central American Migrants Riding ‘Death Train’ to Defy Trump’s Border Enforcement

La Bestia Train Riders 2017 - Photo Pueblo Sin Fronteras Facebook
Photo: Facebook/Pueblo Sin Fronteras

Hundreds of Central American nationals riding “The Train of Death” in Mexico are traveling to the U.S. border and plan to arrive in Tijuana on Sunday. These self-styled asylum-seekers plan to protest that illegal immigrants are being turned away at the border. The border crossing is scheduled for 2:30 PDT on Sunday afternoon.

When they get to their destination, the organizers and foreign nationals plan to use the day to “put pressure on the United States and Mexico” and draw attention to why they left their countries, reported Mother Jones. The caravan “is meant to raise awareness of the perils facing migrants in Mexico as well as the Trump administration’s efforts to prevent refugees from legally entering the United States.”

Participants say they are “exercising their right to seek refuge and asylum!” and they are about 200 in number. Women and children are traveling in automobiles.

Pueblo Sin Fronteras posted a Facebook event inviting people to welcome the migrants Sunday afternoon.

Breitbart Texas reported extensively on the deadly journey on the “Train of Death,” also known as “La Bestia.” Mexican officials reported in March 2015 that they raided the train 153 times during the massive migration movement in 2014 that brought tens of thousands of Central American migrants to the U.S. border. The majority of the surge of illegal immigrants flooding into Texas were coming from the Central American nations of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Breitbart Texas broke the news about the massive flood of unaccompanied minors and women who were being warehoused at the time in inhumane conditions by ICE officials who were overwhelmed by the massive numbers of people crossing.

In June 2016, Mexican officials stated they had reached the limit of their resources in regards to stopping Central American migrants from illegally entering and crossing their country. Participants are urged to join the migrants at “Friendship Park” in Tijuana before the migrants attempt to enter the U.S. near the San Ysidro border crossing.

On Sunday, May 7th, Refugee Caravan participants will take action one last time to defend their right to live in safety, without the fear of detention and deportation. They are Central Americans who fled death threats and persecution, organized in southern Mexico and traveled together on foot, by bus and on top of the cargo train, raising their voices all along the way to demand respect for their rights as refugees.

We demand that the US government process their claims as required under the law by referring them for a credible or reasonable fear interview, and not turn them away as US Customs & Border Protection agents have frequently and increasingly done.

La Calle journalist Lukas Lukatero posted this video on his Facebook page during the journey across Mexico:

Mother Jones reported that Alex Mensing, one of the organizers of the “Viacrucis de Refugiados” (“Refugee Voyagees” in Spanish) said “There is a refusal on the parts of the Mexican and the US governments—and the Mexican government on behalf of the US government—to deal with the Central American exodus as a refugee crisis.”

Mensing is chronicling the journey on Facebook and Twitter and is posting photos and videos of the caravan riders. The sojourners are also posting statements and video on his Facebook page.

This translated post shared from Pueblo Sin Fronteras says “Refugee Caravan 2017, some images of the last few days of our struggle for justice and refuge. See you in Tijuana on Sunday, May 7 for our border action to exercise the right to seek asylum!”

Fronteras posted this video on May 2 saying that caravan partakers were chanting: “Alert! Alert! Alert! The migrant struggle is on the move in Latin America! Why do they kill us? Why do they assassinate us? If we are the hope of Latin America?”

Although organizers in the United States and Mexico are working to help them make a safe and successful journey, the caravan that crossed into Mexico from Tecún Umán, Guatemala on April 9, has seen its dangers.  So far the numbers riding in the caravan have helped them the non-profit publication reported. At one point they were reported to have been surrounded by 80 Mexican immigration agents, but the caravan did not stop.

Based on this Facebook video, they apparently had other run-ins with Mexican border officers but according to the article, they have been able to avoid being arrested:

The group has stayed in a parish in Mazatlan and at a migrant house “Case del Migrante of Caborca,” in Caborca, Sonora, Mexico.

Mensing posted the Mother Jones article on his Facebook page on May 2 with this message:

You can show your solidarity with the Central American refugees on the caravan by sharing this article, by going to Tijuana on May 7th to stand with the asylum seekers as they exercise their rights at the US border, or by donating here so we can have the funds we need to keep going!

Breitbart Texas reached out to Alex Mensing but he has not responded.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.



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