Migrants whose asylum application process is being examined by the US courts have begun to be returned to Mexico. Strongly criticized by the opposition, Donald Trump wanted to introduce this measure to respond to the 2000% increase in five years of asylum claims in the United States.
The United States began Tuesday to return migrants seeking asylum to Mexico during the US court review, as part of a new measure by President Donald Trump criticized by the Democratic opposition as well as by the US. Mexican authorities.
A first Honduran migrant, Carlos Gomez, 55, was taken back to the Mexican side of the border in the middle of the day in Tijuana, a northwestern town that borders San Diego, California. Wearing a cap and carrying a backpack, he was taken in charge by the Mexican migration authorities who took him to a shelter. “I’m very tired (…) I’m going to a place outside Tijuana,” he told AFP. This migrant had arrived at the American border with the big caravan coming from Honduras that had gathered more than 7000 people at the end of October. He entered the United States in November.
“As of today, the United States has begun to implement Migrant Protection Protocols (…) This action is a response to the illegal migration crisis that the United States is facing at its border. south, “the US embassy in Mexico said in a statement. It recalls that under these protocols, migrants who have entered illegally “may be returned to Mexico for the duration of their migration procedure”. The Mexican government said last week that it “disapproved” of this unilateral move by the United States, but would welcome these migrants for “humanitarian” reasons.
Over the last five years, asylum applications have increased by 2000% “because many migrants know that by applying for asylum they have the opportunity to stay in the United States, even if their request for asylum asylum is not justified, “says the US Embassy. About 90% of asylum applications are rejected by judges and mostly concern Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence in their country. The system is also accumulating huge delays, with 800,000 asylum applications pending, according to US authorities.
Critics on both sides of the border
Announced in December, President Donald Trump’s “Staying in Mexico” plan has been sharply criticized on both sides of the border. “It’s a horrible idea,” said Melissa Crow of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has already challenged Donald Trump’s migration decisions. “It is not safe for many, if not most, asylum seekers to wait in Mexico. Many flee cartel violence and domestic violence, “she told AFP. “There are cases of people being prosecuted while in Mexico,” said Melissa Crow.
The new policy “is not only illegal, but could have catastrophic consequences for those wishing to access the asylum procedure in the United States, a right enshrined in national and international law,” says Katie Shepherd, a a lawyer with the Immigrant Legal Aid Association, American immigration council.
According to the Mexican authorities, the United States will bring back 20 asylum seekers every day to the Tijuana border post and will eventually extend this policy to other crossing points along the approximately 3100 km border between the two countries. This measure will not apply to Mexican asylum seekers or unaccompanied minors. The US president temporarily gave up last week funding for its wall on the Mexican border, supposed to stop illegal immigration from the south, to be able to get out of the “shutdown”, the longest paralysis of the federal administration of history the United States.