On Friday, the US government will return the first group of migrants seeking asylum in Washington to the Mexico border city of Tijuana, officials from both countries said on Thursday.
Dubbing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the Trump administration marked a major policy shift on December 20. It announced that the non-Mexican migrants, who cross the US south border back, will have to wait in Mexico while their asylum requests are processed in the US immigration courts.
Trump administration’s plan attempts to curb the soaring number of families arriving in the US, claiming that they fear returning to their home countries due to threats of violence. The government says many of these claims are invalid.
The new approach applies to the migrants arriving from the Mexico border, asking for asylum at the entry ports, or who are caught in illegal crossings and claim they are afraid to return home. In a fact sheet, the Department of Homeland Security said that children traveling on their own and the migrants from “vulnerable populations” could be excluded on a case-by-case basis.
The DHS said, “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 US and Mexico held two meetings to work out details of the plan to return first group of migrants seeking asylum in the Washington. The nationalities of those to be returned to Mexico were not specified. However, Mexico has stated to not accept migrants facing credible threat in their territory.
Citing the new policy, immigration advocates have raised concerns that the asylum seekers will not be able to access proper legal counsel to represent them in the US courts.
The Trump administration claims that it is relying on the US law allowing migrants attempting to enter the country from neighbor country to be sent back. However, it is being expected that the policy might face obstruction in court, since claiming asylum is protected under both US and international law. Several of Trump’s immigration policies have been halted by the federal courts in the past as well.
While President Trump is becoming rough on immigration policies, especially the Mexico border, it is unclear how Mexico will house thousands of Central American migrants during their immigration proceedings. The latest policy of the administration is quiet unreliable, in terms of its impact on the migrants as well as Mexico. As the government will soon return the first group, we can only wait for the upcoming anarchy.
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