200 Central Americans seek asylum at U.S.-Mexico border

April 29 (UPI) — Hundreds of migrants reached the border between the United States and Mexico on Sunday, seeking asylum.

About 200 migrants arrived for entry after traveling from Central America, including many from Honduras who sought to escape gang violence.

Members of the caravan gathered at Friendship Park in Tijuana, where some will have to remain as they wait to be processed by U.S. authorities, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“Depending on port circumstances at the time of arrival, individuals may need to wait in Mexico as CBP officers work to process those already within our facilities,” said Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego.

The effort was organized by Pueblos Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders.

Upon reaching the border, migrants were expected to turn themselves in peacefully at the port of entry and ask for asylum.

“People who have a legitimate fear of persecution under U.S. law have a right to present their case,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, top Democrat on the House subcommittee on immigration. “That’s not a violation of immigration law. That’s a part of immigration law.”

The group was expected to be the largest to approach the border, and demonstrators arrived at both sides of the fence Sunday to support the caravan.

CBP Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott said several groups associated with the caravan illegally entered the United States by climbing over a metal fence.

“We are a very welcoming country but just like your own house, we expect everyone to enter through our front door, and answer questions honestly,” Scott said.

Similar migrant groups have made their way toward the border within the past few years, but this group has faced vocal opposition from President Donald Trump, whose administration warned of arrests as about 130 immigrants arrived at the border last week.

“This is not ideal for us to have this many people, this much publicity,” caravan leader Irineo Mujica said.

“It’s been really really good that we are able to see what is the problem.”