Migrant caravan waiting for entry at US-Mexico border

Migrants turned away at US-Mexico border
Migrants turned away at US-Mexico border
Migrants turned away at US-Mexico border
Posted at 11:59 AM, Apr 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-30 23:25:44-04

SAN YSIDRO, Calif. (KGTV) - The first eight migrants in a caravan of hundreds will be processed, a source confirmed Monday night. 

Women and children were the first to be selected out of the group. Earlier Monday, 20 families were waiting to be processed at the San Ysidro port of entry. 

Customs officers say the border crossing facility is at capacity. Those crossing the border say the caravan is fenced off in two sections. One group of about 20 is at the door, waiting to be processed.

Irineo Mujica of Pueblos Sin Fronteras, the group organizing the caravan, called the refusal to process the asylum seekers a 'farce'.

MAP: Where is the migrant caravan from?

Some 50 Central American immigrants camped on a sidewalk near the San Ysidro Port of Entry Sunday night. They're part of a group of hundreds who intend to enter the U.S.

The caravan faces a challenge when, and if, they reach this country. They must have proof of their need for asylum in the United States.

Customs and Border Protection says it will resume processing when it has more space and resources.

A lack of resources

Customs and Border Protection said that it would resume processing at the San Diego crossing when it has more space and resources.

The San Ysidro border inspection facility can hold about 300 people. Between October and February, the agency has processed about 8,000 asylum cases.

RELATED: Activists ready to welcome migrants in caravan

In 2016, thousands of Haitians seeking to turn themselves in at the San Diego crossing overwhelmed U.S. border agents in 2016, the Associated Press reported.

At one point, Haitians had to wait in Tijuana for more than five weeks for their turn.

Trump continues criticism of caravan

President Trump has criticized the caravan since it started in Mexico towards the end of March.

His controversial tweets came as his administration vowed to end what officials call “legal loopholes” and “catch-and-release” policies that allow people requesting asylum to be released into the U.S. while their claims make their way through courts.

"Catch and release is ridiculous," Trump said Monday at a news conference with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the White House. "If they touch our property, if they touch our country, essentially you catch them and you release them into our country. That's not acceptable to anybody."

RELATED: Migrant caravan faces separation fromfamily

Attorney General Jeff Sessions also called the caravan "a deliberate attempt to undermine our laws and overwhelm our system."

More than 140,000 people were arrested in 2017 for being in the U.S. illegally. In San Diego, more than 4,500 of those people were taken to the Otay Mesa Detention Center. 

10News went inside the detention center. Click here to read the full story