Immigrant groups are claiming that an additional 28 members of the “migrant caravan” have been allowed to cross through the port of entry in San Ysidro, California. This brings the total who have reportedly crossed to 53.
Pueblo Sin Fronteras organizer Alex Mensing told NBC News that a total of 53 members of the “migrant caravan” have been allowed to pass through the San Ysidro Port of Entry as of early Wednesday afternoon. He said that more than 100 more migrants are waiting just outside the port.
Breitbart Texas reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials for confirmation. Officials were not able to confirm the number at this time. However, a CBP spokesperson provided the following information on the processing procedure:
Individuals who do not have proper travel documents and attempt to enter the U.S. either at a port of entry or between the ports of entry may be subject to expedited removal. If the members of the caravan are placed into expedited removal and tell border officials that they are afraid to go back to their home countries, they wish to apply for asylum, or that they fear persecution or torture, they are detained and referred to an asylum officer, who will interview them to determine if they have a credible fear of persecution or torture.
Individuals who are found to have a credible fear are referred to Immigration Court, where they may apply for relief from removal, including asylum.
Individuals who are found to not have a credible fear are given an opportunity to ask an Immigration Judge for a review of the negative determination before they are removed from the United States by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The announcement by the “migrant caravan” organizers comes on the same day that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he is sending 35 additional prosecutors and 18 immigration judges to help deal with the asylum claims at the border, Breitbart News’ Ian Mason reported.
“We are not going to let this country be overwhelmed,” Sessions told reporters in Washington, DC. “People are not going to ‘caravan’ or otherwise stampede our border.”
“We need legality and integrity in the system,” the attorney general continued. “People should wait their turn, ask to apply lawfully before they enter our country. So we’re sending a message worldwide: Don’t come illegally. Make your claim to enter America in the lawful way and wait your turn.”
The additional immigration judges will increase the number of judges available to hear cases by 50 percent. The judges are being relocated from the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR).
The additional prosecutors will also help the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California to prosecute any of the migrants who illegally cross the border or who make false claims of “credible fear.”
DOJ officials announced on Tuesday that 11 migrants have been charged after they illegally crossed the border, Breitbart Texas reported.
EOIR Director James McHenry said in a written statement, “We must not let attempts to undermine our lawful immigration system deter that progress, and the men and women at EOIR are proud to play a small role in the Attorney General’s response to the crisis at our Southwest border.”
Border officials previously stated the port had reached its capacity and migrants would be processed when space became available.