How to Help the Caravan of Migrants Seeking Asylum
After traveling nearly 2,500 miles in less than 35 days, a mass caravan of migrants has finally made it to the U.S.-Mexico border — but their journey is far from over.
An estimated 150 migrants were prepared to present themselves to U.S. immigration officials in search of asylum, down from peak-levels of roughly 1,500 people who joined the journey from southern Mexico that began last month.
But when they arrived at the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego Sunday afternoon, only about a third of them were allowed through.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement on Sunday saying its resources were overwhelmed and officials did not have the capacity to admit all members of the caravan.
Dozens of migrants, including children and families, slept on the ground outside the port of entry last night, awaiting their chance to make their asylum claims.
The bottleneck at the border is drawing major concern from organizers and legal observers on the scene who represent both national and international human rights organizations. Prior to the caravan’s arrival, there had been numerous reports about families being separated by immigration agents at the border.
How to help the caravan of migrants seeking asylum
Welcome migrants who are seeking asylum.
Donate to the migrants on the caravan.
Undocumedia, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, and Pueblo Sin Fronteras, an international migrant rights organization, have set up a donation fund for the roughly 650 caravan members who remained on the journey together. The groups hope to raise $50,000 to cover transportation costs, food and basic supplies.
Consider opening your home to a person or family seeking asylum.
Local organizers tell The Los Angeles Times that roughly 75 people have offered to shelter stranded migrants. Showing Up for Racial Justice, a national organization, is helping coordinate with locals who want to help. Sign up or find ways to volunteer by filling out this form.
If you're in California, march in solidarity.
Activists, faith leaders and volunteer attorneys have carried out a weeklong solidarity march from Los Angeles to southern California. Join protests on the U.S.-side of the border fence at the final destination for the march, Border Field State Park. Follow the hashtag #MarchWithoutBorders on Twitter for all the details.
Know your rights.
Whether you’re seeking asylum or you’re a supporter, it's important to know that migrants have a legal right to present themselves at the U.S. border and ask for asylum or humanitarian relief. Local and national organizations, including the National Lawyers Guild, Human Rights First, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and more, have legal observers on standby to ensure that asylum cases are processed in accordance to international law.