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Thousands of migrants reach Mexican-U.S. border requesting asylum

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On Nov. 25, over five thousand migrants from Central and South America attempted to cross into the U.S from Tijuana, Mexico, seeking asylum.

The U.S arrested 42 people, and Mexico arrested 39 people who attempted to cross the border. Department of Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton said the majority of people arrested were “adult males.”

The migrants, many of them part of a caravan of Central American asylum-seekers, protested the U.S’s slow pace of processing their asylum claims. Only 40 to 100 people are given asylum each day, according to National Public Radio.

The caravan started in Honduras after the country’s security forces began their aggressive repression of post-election protesters. The authorities are reported to have killed, unjustly imprisoned, and used inhuman treatment of the protesters; however, the cases are still being investigated.

The U.S does have a legal responsibility to hear the asylum claims under national and international law.

“People in the caravan who want to request asylum, they’re looking at months to even be heard first by U.S. authorities, and then for that claim to be processed can take months or even years,” reporter James Fredrick told NPR.

The protest began peacefully, but the Mexican federal police were unable to contain the massive crowd. When migrants got past the Mexican police, U.S. border agents began to throw tear gas at the people trying to cross the border. In return, migrants began to throw stones at the agents.

President Donald Trump said he has “given the OK” for the U.S. agents to “use lethal force” against the migrants; however, the use of lethal force is only limited to self-defense, according to a White House memo.

Trump defended the use of tear gas by claiming the U.S. agents were “being rushed by some very tough people.” Mexico has demanded the U.S to investigate its use of tear gas.

“We treat these people, these economic refugees, as if they are zombies from ‘The Walking Dead,’” Geraldo Rivera said on Fox News on Nov. 26. “We have to deal with this problem humanly and with compassion.”

 

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Thousands of migrants reach Mexican-U.S. border requesting asylum