Migrants get paperwork in order to file for asylum ahead of caravan

Posted at 4:46 PM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 20:17:52-05

SAN YSIDRO (KGTV) - Dozens of migrants filled out paperwork in Tijuana, getting ready to file for asylum ahead of the caravan.

The Mexican city already flooded with migrants waiting for their turn to be processed at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

Lilia Velasquez, an Immigration Specialist and Lawyer, said the process could take months or even years. First, she said a group of about 10 migrants get a number. When they're called, they are processed and detained.

It could take months to get to that step, which is why a group is given the same number. Velasquez explained many decide not to go through the process, or to find another way over the border.

Next an agent is assigned to their case and conducts a credible fear interview, determining whether the migrant falls under 5 classifications; facing persecution for religion, ethnicity, nationality, political opinion, or being a member of a special group.

READ RELATED: First group of migrants from caravan arrive in Tijuana

Then, the migrants face a judge. Whether or not they are granted asylum, the migrants then face another judge on charges for entering the country as a foreign citizen. Some are released on bond.

Velasquez said humanitarian groups like the ACLU, help finance the bond, and court proceedings. Other groups, like churches, help the migrants once they enter San Diego.

One migrant mother who filled out the paperwork Friday morning said she is not afraid, she is filled with hope that they're almost across the border and she thinks it will be easy to get asylum with her son. 

Two thousand to 3,000 more migrants involved in the caravan are expected to arrive by the end of the weekend.

The migrants who filled out paperwork consist of the LGBTQ group who split from the caravan due to discrimination, Central Americans and Mexicans seeking asylum.