Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen joined the Justice Department in warning the migrant caravan that they “will be referred for prosecution for illegal entry.”
“If members of the ‘caravan’ enter the country illegally, they will be referred for prosecution for illegal entry in accordance with existing law,” Secretary Nielsen said. “For those seeking asylum, all individuals may be detained while their claims are adjudicated efficiently and expeditiously, and those found not to have a claim will be promptly removed from the United States.”
Pueblo Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, organized a roughly 1,000-person strong caravan of migrants — consisting mostly of Honduran nationals — who intend to illegal cross the U.S.-Mexico border and claim asylum. While Mexico had broken up much of the original caravan, many ignored the offer to stay in Mexico in clear defiance of U.S. law and of the wishes of the American people.
President Donald Trump said in early April that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and foreign aid are “in play” if Honduras and other countries don’t stop the caravans of illegals migrating to the United States.
Worth noting, a recent poll found a majority of voters back the idea to use NAFTA as a tool to stop illegal immigrants and drugs from Mexico coming to America. That includes 70% of Republicans, 30% of Democrats and 55% of unaffiliated voters.
Secretary Neilsen’s remarks come after Attorney General Jeff Sessions also warned the “so-called migrant caravan” that there is “no right to demand entry without justification,” which they may no longer have. DOJ said individuals and their smugglers “ignored the willingness of the Mexican government” to offer them asylum.
Attorney General Sessions directed U.S. Attorneys at the border to have “sufficient prosecutors” available and to commit any additional necessary immigration judges to adjudicate any cases that may arise from this ‘caravan.’”
In April, President Trump also signed a memorandum to the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security ordering the National Guard to the southern border.
Meanwhile, DOJ and DHS both have taken the position that asylum-seeking migrants should request protections in the first safe country they enter, including Mexico. Given the migrants turned down the Mexican government’s offer, the U.S. government says a claim to asylum is fraudulent.
“DHS, in partnership with DOJ, is taking a number of steps to ensure that all cases and claims are adjudicated promptly – including sending additional USCIS asylum officers, ICE attorneys, DOJ Immigration Judges, and DOJ prosecutors to the Southern border,” Secretary Neilsen added.
“Again, if you enter the United States illegally, let me be clear: you have broken the law. And we will enforce the law through prosecution of illegal border crossers.”