Democratic House Rep. Henry Cuellar represents a southern Texas district that includes more than 290 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico. As a result he is very familiar with border issues, including the influx of undocumented immigrants, what to do with them, and how they are treated. In his district he has national guard troops, U.S. army troops, and white militias operating as vigilantes to enforce their own version of border justice.
And on Friday he said that the much-ballyhooed migrant caravan of Central American asylum seekers is not even coming to Texas.
According to Cuellar the refugees appear to be headed toward California.
Cuellar is a member of the House Appropriation Committee’s Homeland Security subcommittee, so he receives briefings from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). After talking to them on Friday he issued a statement saying:
“This caravan with over 6,000 migrants has departed Mexico City en route to Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. This caravan will likely follow the Viacrucis caravan that made its way to the California border in April 2018.”
“It is expected that it will take approximately two weeks before a significant portion of the caravan will reach the U.S. border near San Diego, California. There are another 4,000 migrants headed north in three additional caravans, according to the International Organization for Migration.”
“My District is also home to about 736,150 hard-working citizens and 8 major ports of entry between the U.S. and Mexico, making border and national security a top priority of mine.”
“In response to the impending migrant caravan, I want to provide my constituents with as much information as possible, including a map, to help them understand and assess the current situation regarding the migrant caravan.”
As Cuellar issued his statement thousands of Central American migrants continued their journey toward the United States. Given the level of violence in their home countries, it is expected that most of them will attempt to seek asylum after arriving at the U.S. border.
The Trump administration has changed its policy and is cracking down on asylum claims. President Trump has been using the caravan as political fodder in his war on immigrants, and is continuing to demand that the U.S. build a wall along the southern border.and stronger immigration policies.
On Friday Trump signed a directive aimed at curbing asylum claims from those entering the U.S. illegally. A group of civil rights organizations filed a lawsuit against the rule on Friday. There have been previous legal challenges to Trump’s asylum policies.
“We want people to come into our country, but they have to come into the country legally,” Trump told reporters before leaving the White House for a trip to Paris.
The directive enacted a new rule the Trump administration rolled out on Thursday that would limit asylum claims to migrants who enter the U.S. through legal ports of entry.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.