1 big thing: Asylum seekers vs. Trump
President Trump is pushing the Central American migrant caravan to turn around, warning the military will stop them.
- "Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!"
- The Pentagon plans to send 5,200 troops to ports of entry on the United States-Mexico border in Texas, Arizona and California, Pentagon officials said this afternoon.
Reality check: Most of these migrants intend to pursue the "legal process" to enter the U.S., Axios' Stef Kight reports. They'll seek asylum.
- Asylum-seekers must be on American soil and present themselves at a port of entry or to immigration officials in order to claim asylum.
- They must prove persecution or fear of persecution in their home country due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or being a member of a particular social group.
- They can apply for affirmative asylum by presenting themselves to immigration officials within one year of arriving in the U.S. They must first pass an initial "credible fear" interview, proving they are reasonably afraid of returning to their home country.
- Immigrants can also apply for asylum defensively if they are arrested and placed in deportation proceedings.
Between the lines: The Trump administration is working to make the asylum process more difficult.
- Only a quarter of all affirmative asylum applications were approved in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2018.
- And more than 70% of Honduran, Salvadoran and Guatemalan asylum-seekers were denied defensive asylum in the U.S. between FY 2012 and FY 2017.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions has continued to increase scrutiny for asylum seekers, disqualifying those who claim domestic abuse or gang violence.
The bottom line: It will still be weeks before the caravan reaches a U.S. port of entry, but those migrants need to reach American soil in order to credibly and legally claim asylum in the U.S. And even after their journey, they face unfavorable odds of legally receiving asylum from the Trump administration.