Those migrants come to the U.S. seeking asylum. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, asylum is a protection for those who are considered refugees, are already in the U.S. or are seeking admission into the U.S.
Those seeking asylum are looking for protection in fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group.
Migrants can apply for asylum no matter their immigration status and are allowed to remain in the U.S.
Still, critics argue the migrants cross the border without permission before making their asylum claim.
Under federal law, asylum seekers are supposed to be within the United States or at a port of entry to apply for asylum.
A Texas lawmaker would like to change that law, creating “Safe Zones” where they can apply, according to NewsNation’s partner Border Report. He believes it would curb the record number of migrants trying to come into the country at the southern border.
“Unfortunately, U.S. embassies and consulates cannot process requests for this form of protection. That’s because, under U.S. law, asylum-seekers can apply only if they are physically present in the United States (or at least at a U.S. border or other point of entry.) Our bill does create that ability. Additionally, our bill will create the facilities and spaces intended to take in, shelter, and efficiently process individuals seeking asylum — in a space that we can assure will be safe,” U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas, told Border Report Thursday.