The first migrants from a caravan that sparked the ire of President Donald Trump have started arriving at the US-Mexico border and asking for asylum, advocates say.
About 50 Central Americans have arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, according to Juventud 2000, an organization that assists migrants in that border city.
Of those, about 10 have turned themselves in to US authorities at the border. Others are waiting for a larger contingent from the caravan to arrive before they head north, Juventud 2000 Director Jose Maria Garcia Lara said.
There are many questions looming about the group’s next steps. Chief among them: What will happen once larger numbers reach the border?
Many of the migrants say they’re fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. They’re part of a caravan that convened at Mexico’s southern border weeks ago, then trekked through the country as part of an annual pilgrimage organized to bring light to migrants’ plights.
This year’s journey got far more attention than usual, starting with a series of tweets on a Sunday morning from Trump. By the end of that week, Trump had ordered National Guard troops to deploy to the border in a memo warning of a security crisis there.
While political pressure over the caravan mounted north of the border, in Mexico the migrants continued their journey.
Some individuals and smaller groups have split off along the way. And the largest contingent is much smaller than it was at the outset. About 1,200 migrants from Central America began the journey. After a recent head count by organizers, the group numbered closer to 600.
The larger group is still days away from the border, according to organizers.
But some migrants from the caravan have started trickling into Tijuana, according to Juventud 2000, which is working with caravan organizers to help provide shelter to the arriving migrants.
The first caravan members arrived sporadically last week. Then a group of about 25 people arrived this week, Garcia Lara said.
CNN’s Khushbu Shah reported from Mexico City, and Catherine E. Shoichet reported from Washington. CNN’s Leyla Santiago contributed to this report.