‘Good news’ for migrants who leave Guatemala, El Salvador

Image caption Cenzontress travel to Cuba is unlikely to be affected

Humanitarian migrant groups in the United States say there is good news for migrants travelling through El Salvador and Guatemala en route to the US.

Immigration officials say entry into the United States from El Salvador and Guatemala will likely rise.

The announcement comes as the US says it is considering barring any migrants from entering the US illegally.

Earlier this month, more than 6,000 families crossed into the US illegally.

Concerns have been growing in the US over the plight of the migrants – an influx of 20,000 migrant families entering the US illegally per month.

The Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, announced the rise in the number of incoming asylum claims.

The number has been rising every month since early 2017, the agency said.

This month alone there were 19,000 new asylum claims in the US from illegal migrant families.

Like many members of the caravan, Ms Nielsen condemned this group of migrants – the most large so far – which has arrived in the US and is currently near the Mexican border.

“The migrants here have chosen to … choose the dangerous journey to our country and those who want to cross the border illegally and are in violation of our laws have no safe place to do so,” she said.

She said that any migrants – even those travelling without their children – would face a longer and more difficult application process.

The number of families making the journey to the US is well above last year’s levels. Officials have attributed this to factors such as the expansion of the US border with Mexico.

President Donald Trump has said he would be keen to ban family-based immigration, as this law is used to enable migrants from families to cross into the US more easily.

On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security released a statement confirming these plans.

“Currently, there are wide-ranging reports of the potential for Mexico to do little to stop migrants from illegally crossing into the United States as they look to gain asylum. The proposed expansion of family-based asylum would fix that gap, closing a legal loophole that has allowed for the lawlessness that contributed to the crisis on our border,” it said.

The department also announced that it will create a new task force to focus on stopping the growth of asylum claims.

Asylum seekers from countries around the world can now apply to receive legal status in the US.

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