Federal officials said some people travelling with a Central American migrant caravan have crossed into the U.S. illegally over the past 24 hours, the Los Angeles Times reported.
What does this look like?
In a desperate bid to enter the country, a pregnant woman and some children as young as age 4 were found entering the U.S. through a dark, dangerous canyon notorious for human and drug smuggling, according to Times. They reportedly climbed over a broken-down scrap metal border fence near the San Ysidro Port of Entry, a land border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana.
Others from the caravan — which has an estimated 400 members in all — were spotted Sunday attempting to scale the fence near the border, Fox News reported.
According to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the caravan is “a deliberate attempt to undermine our laws and overwhelm our system.” He pledged to send more immigration judges to the border, if necessary, Fox News reported.
No figures were reported on how many people were caught entering the U.S. illegally or what happened to them.
Caravan members requesting asylum participated in legal orientations on Friday and Saturday, in which they were informed of their rights and what to expect in the U.S. after entry. The migrants are expected to ask for asylum Sunday.
“Individuals of the ‘caravan’ seeking asylum or other similar claims should seek protections in the first safe country they enter, including Mexico,” Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott said in a Customs and Border Protection statement.
“To anyone that is associated with this caravan, think before you act,” Scott added. “If anyone has encouraged you to illegally enter the United States, or make any false statements to U.S. government officials, they are giving you bad advice and they are placing you and your family at risk.”
Pete Flores, the Customs and Border Protection director of field operations in San Diego, said in the statement that pedestrians at the San Ysidro Port of Entry will be divided into two lines — those with, and without, travel documents for legal entry.
If the facility becomes overcrowded with those who have no entry documents, they may need to wait in Mexico, Flores said. “All travelers will be processed in accordance with appropriate detention and removal enforcement protocols.”
Should Americans take migrants into their homes?
The Times article promoted the idea that Americans should take migrants — complete strangers whose criminal and health statuses are unknown — into their homes.
Blair Overstreet and her husband, Matt Dunn, both 36, were working to prepare a guest bedroom at their apartment in University Heights, the report stated.
“It seemed like a no-brainer,” Overstreet told the Times.