Inadmissible aliens, some seeking asylum, are processed by CBP officers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on Nov. 23, 2018. (Mani Albrecht/CBP)

Trump Administration Warns of Incoming Caravan During Government Shutdown

As the government shutdown nears a month with no solution in sight, a new caravan of more than 1,000 migrants has left Honduras and is heading north, and the Department of Homeland Security has warned the group that merely participating in a caravan does not guarantee entry into the U.S.

About 1,300 Honduran migrants registered to cross into Guatemala, the Associated Press reported.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted statistics this week to back the Trump administration’s position that a “humanitarian crisis” exists on the U.S. southern border with Mexico.

President Trump and Congress remain at loggerheads over $5 billion in border funding, while 800,000 federal workers are not receiving paychecks. Trump says that he will not reopen the government unless he receives the appropriation to build the wall. Trump has said that it is his right as president to declare a national emergency over the issue, but has not yet done so.

ICYMI: Trump, Dems Rehash Border Dispute in Primetime Shutdown Showdown

MORE: Here’s What President Trump Wants to End the Government Shutdown

In November, DHS and the Justice Department adopted an asylum rule to turn back a caravan of thousands of migrants heading to the U.S. border. The rule stipulates that anyone falsely claiming asylum will not be allowed into the country.  Then last month, Nielsen announced before the House Committee on Homeland Security that she was introducing a historic measure that would make migrants seeking asylum await their trial date in Mexico.

SEE: Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department Adopt Asylum Rule to Turn Back Caravan
MORE
Nielsen: New ‘Catch and Return’ Rule in Effect to Make Asylum-Seekers Wait in Mexico

Trump, in response to the incoming migrants, ordered thousands of active-duty members of the U.S. military to back up U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel at the border. Their mission was extended to Sept. 30, the Pentagon announced on Monday.

“In response to the December 27, 2018 request from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan approved Department of Defense assistance to DHS through Sept. 30, 2019,” notes the DoD statement. “DOD is transitioning its support at the southwestern border from hardening ports of entry to mobile surveillance and detection, as well as concertina wire emplacement between ports of entry. DOD will continue to provide aviation support.”

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats maintain that the designation as a “humanitarian crisis” is inaccurate and that the crisis has been manufactured by an administration trying to appeal to its base.

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Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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