The woman who oversees the agency that decides when asylum seekers have legitimate claims to stay in America has told migrants traveling on the so-called “refugee caravan” to definitely consider staying away.
“DHS encourages persons with asylum or other similar claims to seek protections in the first safe country they enter, including Mexico,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen said in a statement issued on Monday.
This is odd, considering it’s perfectly legal for migrants to go to a U.S. port of entry and seek asylum, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
Nielsen also warned asylum seekers that they could face jail time.
“All individuals may be detained while their claims are adjudicated efficiently and expeditiously, and those found not to have a claim will be promptly removed from the United States,” Nielsen said.
And after all that, Secretary Nielsen went on to stir fears that the caravan that started a month ago was trying to enter the U.S. illegally—which, again, it is not.
“DHS continues to monitor the remnants of the ‘caravan’ of individuals headed to our Southern border with the apparent intention of entering the United States illegally,” Nielsen said. (For the third time—it’s not illegal to seek asylum!)
She then called for the U.S.-Mexico border to be secured, even though the number of illegal border crossing arrests are at a 46-year low.
“A sovereign nation that cannot – or worse, chooses not – to defend its borders will soon cease to be a sovereign nation,” Nielsen said.
For the record, organizers of the caravan at Pueblo Sin Fronteras have told Splinter that “only the most vulnerable” members of the group remain, and that some will indeed seek protections in Mexico.
And, just to emphasize the point one final time, the group has organized several “refugee caravans” in previous years, and there’s never been an organized plan to get people to illegally enter the United States.