The First 14 Asylum-Seekers From The Central American 'Caravan' Have Crossed Into The U.S.

"I cannot go back to my country."

After sleeping right outside of the U.S. border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, the first asylum-seekers from the 1,500-strong Central American "caravan" of immigrants have entered the United States. Late Monday night, eight people, including Gabriela Hernandez, a pregnant mother of two, were selected to begin their applications on the U.S. side of the border. On Tuesday afternoon, as reported by Buzzfeed's Adolfo Flores, a further 6 from the caravan were allowed to enter the U.S, bringing the total admitted for processing to 14.

Per Reuters, the news was met with celebration by the remaining members of the caravan, whose 2,000-mile trek across Mexico ended in a stalemate at the U.S. border, where officials told them that the port of entry was at capacity and unable to process new claims for asylum. As reported by Mother Jones, the caravan's asylum-seekers are not the first immigrants to be rebuffed at the U.S. border in recent months, despite international treaties requiring the U.S. to at least process their claims.

According to CNN, Hernandez was picked by her fellow immigrants to be first in line for processing. She told the outlet that she was fleeing to the United States from Honduras due to domestic violence and a threat to her 6-year-old's life made by a local gang.

"I cannot go back to my country," Hernandez told CNN.

Per Reuters, most applicants from Central America do not succeed in their requests for asylum.

Nonetheless, news that Hernandez's claim (and the claims of thirteen others) were being processed in the U.S. gave those waiting on the other side of the border hope.

This story has been updated to reflect the additional members of the caravan allowed to cross the border on Tuesday.

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