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What happens when the migrant caravan reaches the border

The caravan consisting of thousands of migrants is making its way through Mexico. It is getting a lot of attention from the media, the president and local Mexicans who seem to be the only ones helping them. If they make it and depending on where they joined and where they cross, the migrants will have walked well over a thousand miles before they reach the U.S.

Government has policies in place

The federal government has a number of laws in place for people seeking asylum. While this administration tries to come up with new ways to undercut them, the fact remains that laws are passed by Congress and it takes time and coalition of congressmen and congresswomen who are willing to make changes in a law.

The president has called for the closing of the border when the migrants arrive, but this would also be disastrous and destabilizing for the government because a half million people cross it legally each day for personal and business reasons.

Metering and its impact

There is a big push for what the government is calling “metering.” This is an attempt to limit the number of asylum seekers who are able to go through an official port of entry on a daily basis. U.S. officials claim that the facilities and staff are only equipped to process a certain number of asylum seekers on a given day. This creates long lines for waiting, sometimes with Mexican officials to stopping the flow on the other side.

While the thinking is to slow the process, experts believe that metering prompts asylum seekers to try illegal means for crossing the border. Despite the political posturing by the president, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others in Washington, the asylum seekers caught trying to illegally cross the border are still processed.

The families traveling in the caravan provide a thornier problem: Will officials continue to follow its ill-advised and illegal practice of separating children from parents? Or will they process the families together and eventually release them until the hearing months or a year away?

Attorneys can help protect immigrant rights

Attorneys who work with migrants and immigrants can help them navigate the asylum-seeking process or other matters like work visas or citizenship. Despite what some think, immigrants still have rights in this country.

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber