US to begin sending asylum seekers to Mexico for duration of immigration proceedings

Vastavam web: The Trump administration will begin sending some asylum seekers at the southern border back to Mexico on Friday, according to a Department of Homeland Security official. Some individuals who arrive at the San Ysidro port of entry, south of San Diego, starting Friday will be given notices to appear in court in the US and told to remain in Mexico until then. Outside of their court appearances, individuals who arrive without proper documentation will remain in Mexico for the duration of their immigration proceedings under this policy.

The DHS official called this policy a “methodical approach to reducing the flow of unchecked mass migration at the southern border” and said the implementation will begin with a small number of people and then “grow bigger.” An administration source said authorities would start with the small number of people — expected to be under a dozen — while the process is ironed out.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be responsible for transporting asylum seekers to and from US ports of entry for their court appearances, the source said. The first hearings are not expected to take place immediately. Immigration advocates were quick to condemn the news that the new migration policy would be implemented this week. It had been similarly decried when Nielsen announced it during her December congressional testimony.

Laura Lynch, senior policy counsel at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, tweeted out their report documenting how the plan “will make it nearly impossible for #asylum seekers to access the protections they are entitled to.”

The reaction from these and other advocates is a reminder that the new policy will likely be challenged in court. For instance, the administration’s partial ban on asylum seekers in November was almost immediately challenged in court. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation that would have barred migrants who illegally cross into the United States at the southern border from seeking asylum outside of official US ports of entry.