Asylum-seekers must wait in Mexico
Friday, March 22nd, 2019 at 12:27am | 3/22/2019 | Staff
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EL PASO – In a major shift, the Department of Homeland Security is about to begin sending asylum-seekers who crossed the border in the El Paso region back to Mexico, where they will wait for their cases to be heard.

The changes under the migrant protection protocols are set to start by the end of the week. Currently, families seeking asylum usually are released within days and allowed to remain in the United States for months, and sometimes years, for their cases to wind through the court system.

Weeks - Migrants - Day - El - Paso

In recent weeks, several hundred asylum-seeking migrants a day have been crossing through the El Paso sector, which includes all of New Mexico. Most crossed illegally – often waiting for and waving down Border Patrol – while a few dozen of those waiting to cross at the border checkpoints were allowed in each day. In the Journal’s “8 hours on the border” series published earlier this month, the Border Patrol recounted how the influx of families has stretched their resources.

The series also reported how Ciudad Juárez is struggling to care for the thousands of migrants waiting there to enter the U.S. through a port of entry.

Crisis - City - Jorge - Muñoz - Relief

“It’s a crisis because we are not ready as a city,” Jorge Muñoz, migrant relief coordinator at a makeshift shelter in Ciudad Juárez, said of the change. The shelter lies just across the border from El Paso.

Authorities in Mexico were notified in meetings this week about the U.S. plan to expand the migrant protection protocols along this stretch of border.

Plan - Trump - Administration - Remain - Mexico

Under the plan the Trump administration first called “Remain in Mexico,” asylum applicants will be sent south of the border to wait while their cases move through immigration courts in the U.S. The protocols are already in place in the Mexican border cities of Tijuana and Calexico and now have...
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