Immigrants rally

People climb the border wall fence as a caravan of migrants reached the US-Mexico border near San Diego, California. Picture: REUTERS

TIJUANA, Mexico – Hundreds of people from a Central American migrant caravan rallied on Sunday at the US-Mexico border, many preparing to report to US authorities later in the day to make asylum claims that may land them in detention centres.

The month-long caravan that at one point gathered 1,500 immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador drew the wrath of President Donald Trump during his journey through Mexico.

Mr Trump pressured Mexico to stop the migrants before they reached the border, linking Mexican efforts to stem the flow of Central Americans to the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) currently being renegotiated in Washington.

The remaining 400 or so members of the caravan now face hard choices, whether to cross illegally into the United States, ask for asylum at the border or try to remain in Mexico.

“I feel a little cold. I feel anxious,” said Jaime Alexander from El Salvador in the morning, shaking slightly on his way to the Tijuana, Mexico side of the border fence on a Pacific Ocean beach.

Some young men clambered up and straddled the fence, legs dangling into California.

The migrants were cheered on the San Diego side by US immigration activists.

The rally was a final public act after a roller-coaster few weeks for the caravan and was intended to raise awareness about the fate of migrants in Latin America, organizers said. On the US side, the March Without Borders group trekked from Los Angeles to greet the caravan.

 

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