MEXICO CITY/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. authorities will return the primary group of migrants searching for asylum within the United States to the Mexican border metropolis of Tijuana on Friday, U.S. and Mexican officers stated, marking the start of a significant coverage shift by the Trump administration.
Migrants from Central America are seen escorted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers after crossing the border from Mexico to give up to the officers in El Paso, Texas, U.S., on this image taken from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico December three, 2018. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
The coverage dubbed the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and first introduced on Dec. 20 will return non-Mexican migrants who cross the U.S. southern border again to wait in Mexico whereas their asylum requests are processed in U.S. immigration courts.
The plan is aimed toward curbing the rising variety of households arriving principally from Central America who say they concern returning to their house nations due to threats of violence. The Trump administration says most of the claims will not be legitimate.
The program will apply to arriving migrants who ask for asylum at ports of entry or who’re caught crossing illegally and say they’re afraid to return house.
Children touring on their very own and a few migrants from “vulnerable populations” might be excluded on a case-by-case foundation, the Department of Homeland Security stated in a reality sheet.
“The MPP will provide a safer and more orderly process that will discourage individuals from attempting illegal entry and making false claims to stay in the U.S., and allow more resources to be dedicated to individuals who legitimately qualify for asylum,” the DHS stated.
Illegal crossings on the southern border have dropped dramatically since highs reached in earlier many years, however in recent times extra households and unaccompanied kids from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are migrating to the United States and asylum purposes have ballooned.
Last 12 months, about 93,000 folks sought asylum on the southern border, up 67 % from 2017, in accordance to U.S. authorities information.
Asylum seekers are usually granted the suitable to keep within the United States whereas their instances are determined by a U.S. immigration decide, however a backlog of greater than 800,000 instances means the method can take years.
Now, the U.S. authorities says migrants will likely be turned away with a “notice to appear” in immigration court docket. They will likely be in a position to enter the United States for his or her hearings however could have to reside in Mexico within the interim. If they lose their instances, they are going to be deported to their house nations.
Mexico has stated it is not going to settle for anyone going through a reputable risk in Mexican territory.
But immigration advocates concern Mexican territory isn’t secure for migrants who’re frequently kidnapped by felony gangs and smugglers, and have raised issues that candidates won’t be able to entry correct authorized counsel to characterize them in U.S. courts.
It is unclear how Mexico plans to home what might be 1000’s of asylum seekers for the prolonged period of their immigration proceedings. Some Mexican border cities are extra violent than the cities the Central Americans left behind.
The Trump administration says it’s relying on a U.S. regulation that enables migrants making an attempt to enter the United States from a contiguous nation to be eliminated to that nation. But the coverage will doubtless be challenged in court docket since claiming asylum is protected beneath each worldwide and U.S. regulation.
Several of Trump’s signature immigration insurance policies, together with some making an attempt to cut back asylum purposes, have been halted by U.S. federal courts.
Trump argues that the asylum system is abused, calling a course of by which many migrants are freed within the United States to await immigration trial “catch and release.”
Trump is demanding $5.7 billion in funding for a wall alongside the Mexican border, triggering a U.S. partial authorities shutdown that stretched to its 34th day on Thursday and has left 800,000 federal employees with out pay.
Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel in Mexico City; Additional reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Peter Cooney and Leslie Adler