Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

US gathers intelligence on migrant caravan through social media, as judge blocks asylum ban

The United States Department of Homeland Security has reportedly been gathering intelligence on a caravan of predominantly Central American migrants towards the US-Mexico border through various social media channels, as federal judge ruled that the group could attempt to claim asylum in the US.

It is reported that approximated 3,000 asylum seekers have entered Tijuana and their hopes of asylum swells after US District Judge Jon Tiga blocked president Donald Trump’s ban on migrants claiming asylum.  

Tiga said the order was an "extreme departure" from previous practice, adding that “whatever the scope of the president's authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden".

Meanwhile Department of Homeland Security officials have reported to news outlets, that they are currently tracking the movement of the migrants within the caravan from informants using social media messaging apps, such as WhatsApp.

The caravan has been a contentious topic in the US over the last few weeks, especially during the mid-term election. The US Department of Homeland Security has also faced criticism for its handling of the separation of infant refugees from their parents.

Trump has been vocal in his staunch opposition to the caravan crossing the US-Mexico border, shared by several Republican members of congress. Civil liberty and human rights organisations have condemned the rhetoric and moves to block those seeking asylum, stating that it breaks the UNHCR 1951 Refugee Convention.  

The numbers of migrants approaching Tijuana are expected to increase in the coming weeks.

See more from the BBC here, NBC here and CNN here.