United States to send migrants back to Mexico while asylum claims are processed

Arturo Kim
December 22, 2018

Only about 9 percent of those who apply are actually granted asylum, and administration officials have long said too many migrants make false claims as a way to stay in the U.S.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez declared that the Trump administration's immigration policies would have killed Jesus Christ during a scathing statement Thursday attacking Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

The ministry said the actions taken by the Mexican and United States governments do not constitute a "safe third country" scheme, where migrants would have to request U.S. asylum while in Mexico.

Migrants break through the US border fence just beyond the east pedestrian entrance of the San Ysidro crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, on November 25, 2018.

In response, Mexico's foreign ministry underscored it was a temporary measure and that it still has the right to admit or reject the entry of foreigners into its territory.

There are other things that can be done, but this administration has chosen to put all of its resources and energy into policies and operations that try to deter and prevent asylum seekers from coming to the United States, rather than looking at the entire process and figuring, how can we adjust our asylum process to accommodate this inflow?

Unlawful crossings at the southern border have dropped dramatically since the late 1970s, but in recent years applications for asylum have ballooned and more Central American families and unaccompanied children are migrating to the US.

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Since arriving at the border last month, those part of the collective exodus who wish to apply for asylum have been told that they may have to wait up to two months before being able to claim asylum in the United States. "Those without valid claims will be deported to their home countries". The President wanted migrants presenting themselves at the United States border with Mexico to wait in that nation while their applications for entry were processed since detention facilities to hold them on our side of the border were strained well beyond capacity. The national security plan of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador states in its opening sentence: "The violence, killings, and criminality in our country have reached historic levels and we are among the most unsafe countries in the world".

But some critics claim he is beholden to worldwide agreements to process credible asylum claims.

Thousands of people from Central America have headed to the Mexico-U.S. border.

"Giving them food or work authorization does not protect them from the cartels or the war zone that they would be sent to", she said. At the port of entry in Tijuana, among other locations, migrants and refugees are managing an informal list of those wishing to cross into the U.S. to apply.

Immigrant advocates and civil rights attorneys say that remaining in Mexico could be deadly to vulnerable families.

Instead, in an emergency proclamation, Nielsen announced the start of what some are now calling the "Catch and Return" policy.

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