By Alex Hinojosa
“Shalyn Fluharty, executive director at Americans for Immigrant Justice, said that in her experience the majority of migrants she had spoken to will cross actively looking for a border patrol agent to whom they may turn themselves in. However, adding other law enforcement personnel and mixing that with out-of-state national guard troops and other law enforcement personnel was bewildering.
‘There is a right to seek asylum, regardless of your manner of entry,’ Fluharty said. ‘And what you see over and over are people who are sort of forced to enter that way because there’s no other option and they crossed the river looking for federal immigration officials, not trying to avoid them.’
She added: ‘I imagine that it is wildly confusing to stumble across other enforcement officials who are there on the border who actually don’t have the authority or, more specifically, the training to receive highly vulnerable populations who, after fleeing persecution and harm, are looking to surrender themselves to law enforcement for protection.'”