Tag Archives: seekers

Mexican Nationals Now Comprise Majority of Asylum Seekers on Southern Border

Mexican Nationals Now Comprise Majority of Asylum Seekers on Southern BorderThe number of Mexican nationals seeking asylum in the U.S. has risen dramatically over the last year as the number of Central American asylum seekers has fallen as a result of Trump administration policies designed to stem the flow of migrants.A study released last month by researchers at the University of Texas and UC San Diego found that over half of all asylum seekers on the southern border are now Mexicans, predominantly coming from the states of Guerrero, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Zacatecas, and Veracruz.Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, many pointed to cartel violence as the primary reason to seek asylum. Others referenced the Central American caravans that made headlines for passing through Mexico on the way to the U.S. border.Since Mexicans are exempt from the “Remain in Mexico” policy that constrains the number of central American asylum seekers, U.S. authorities have adopted a policy known as "metering" which admits only a relatively small number of of Mexican asylum seekers each day. Last week, Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, announced that Mexican nationals seeking asylum in the United States could be moved to Guatemala rather than being allowed to wait in the United States for their asylum claims to be adjudicated.The White House has been locked in a ongoing court battle over policies to limit the amount of asylum seekers, including requiring that migrants first apply for refugee status in Mexico, or whatever country they enter after leaving home, before seeking asylum in the U.S. The remain in Mexico policy has also been met with legal challenges. The Ninth Circuit is currently hearing arguments regarding the constitutionality of the orders, after the Supreme Court ruled in September that the remain in Mexico policy can remain in effect as legal challenges progress.More than 300,000 Central Americans entered Mexico illegally last year, 80 percent of whom were headed for the U.S. border, according to Mexico’s interior minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero. The southern border has been overwhelmed this year with asylum applicants though numbers have waned in recent months following highs in the spring.Former acting DHS secretary Kevin McAleenan said in August that border crossings declined over the summer, with apprehensions dropping 43 percent since May, when arrests between ports of entry at the southern border increased for the fourth straight month to 132,887.



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U.S. seeks to charge asylum seekers for immigration

U.S. seeks to charge asylum seekers for immigrationThe Trump administration rolled out a proposal Friday to hike application fees for immigrants seeking to remain in the U.S. including a first-ever charge for those seeking refuge. It's the administration's latest move to restrict pathways for obtaining asylum and immigration benefits like U.S. citizenship.



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U.S. seeks to charge asylum seekers and hike fees for immigration

U.S. seeks to charge asylum seekers and hike fees for immigrationFor the first time in U.S. history, the Trump administration is looking to impose an application fee for those seeking protection from persecution



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Stranded Asylum Seekers Ask Appeals Court to Let Them In

Stranded Asylum Seekers Ask Appeals Court to Let Them In(Bloomberg) — Central Americans seeking asylum in the U.S. said they’ve waited long enough in Mexico for their applications to be assessed under a Trump administration policy they call unlawful.On Tuesday, their advocates asked the federal appeals court in San Francisco to rule that the policy is illegal. Such a ruling would open the border gates to about 45,000 people, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.The three-judge panel didn’t decide whether to uphold a judge’s ruling to block the “forced return” policy, as the ACLU asked, but it expressed concern why the government doesn’t ask immigrants whether they had any fears about being sent back to Mexico. It’s standard practice for asylum seekers to be asked if they are fearful of returning to their home countries.The appeals court previously has allowed the policy to remain in effect during the litigation — which the ACLU says is endangering the tens of thousands of people.“Individuals returned to Mexico are sent to areas with some of the highest murder rates in the world,” the ACLU said in a court filing. “They face extreme dangers — killings, kidnappings, sexual assault, robbery, and other forms of violence — from cartels, the gangs they fled their home countries to escape, corrupt government officials, and an anti-migrant sentiment.”The lawsuit is one of the many fronts on which immigrant rights’ advocates have been battling the administration’s efforts to block entry to the swelling number of migrants from Central American countries.The government also is trying to stop people from applying for asylum in the U.S. if they didn’t make such an application in another country on their way to the U.S. — so a person from El Salvador should have applied for asylum in Guatemala, or Mexico, according to the U.S.In another case the appeals court heard Tuesday, the U.S. is seeking to overturn a judge’s decision that found it was illegal to require asylum seekers to apply only at official border crossings.An appeals panel in December rejected the government’s request to put the judge’s ruling on hold while the case was tried. The panel said it was likely the rule was “arbitrary and capricious.”The cases are: East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump, 18-17274, and Innovation Law Lab v. McAleenan, 19-15716, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District (San Francisco).(Updates with hearing in second paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter Blumberg, Steve StrothFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Stranded Asylum Seekers Ask Appeals Court to Let Them In

Stranded Asylum Seekers Ask Appeals Court to Let Them In(Bloomberg) — Central Americans seeking asylum in the U.S. said they’ve waited long enough in Mexico for their applications to be assessed under a Trump administration policy they call unlawful.On Tuesday, their advocates asked the federal appeals court in San Francisco to rule that the policy is illegal. Such a ruling would open the border gates to about 45,000 people, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.The three-judge panel didn’t decide whether to uphold a judge’s ruling to block the “forced return” policy, as the ACLU asked, but it expressed concern why the government doesn’t ask immigrants whether they had any fears about being sent back to Mexico. It’s standard practice for asylum seekers to be asked if they are fearful of returning to their home countries.The appeals court previously has allowed the policy to remain in effect during the litigation — which the ACLU says is endangering the tens of thousands of people.“Individuals returned to Mexico are sent to areas with some of the highest murder rates in the world,” the ACLU said in a court filing. “They face extreme dangers — killings, kidnappings, sexual assault, robbery, and other forms of violence — from cartels, the gangs they fled their home countries to escape, corrupt government officials, and an anti-migrant sentiment.”The lawsuit is one of the many fronts on which immigrant rights’ advocates have been battling the administration’s efforts to block entry to the swelling number of migrants from Central American countries.The government also is trying to stop people from applying for asylum in the U.S. if they didn’t make such an application in another country on their way to the U.S. — so a person from El Salvador should have applied for asylum in Guatemala, or Mexico, according to the U.S.In another case the appeals court heard Tuesday, the U.S. is seeking to overturn a judge’s decision that found it was illegal to require asylum seekers to apply only at official border crossings.An appeals panel in December rejected the government’s request to put the judge’s ruling on hold while the case was tried. The panel said it was likely the rule was “arbitrary and capricious.”The cases are: East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump, 18-17274, and Innovation Law Lab v. McAleenan, 19-15716, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District (San Francisco).(Updates with hearing in second paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter Blumberg, Steve StrothFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Asylum seekers I meet flee something even worse than Trump's unethical immigration agenda

Asylum seekers I meet flee something even worse than Trump's unethical immigration agendaOur immigration policies seek to discourage border crossings by making life difficult for migrants. But almost nothing could be worse than going home.



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Tent courts set to open on border for US asylum seekers

Tent courts set to open on border for US asylum seekersThe Trump administration is ready to open a tent court on the border to help handle tens of thousands of cases of asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico, with hearings held entirely by videoconference. The administration introduced its “Remain in Mexico” policy in San Diego in January and later expanded it to El Paso, but hearings there are conducted inside large buildings with normal courtrooms, and the judge usually appears in person. The policy, assailed by critics for making families and young children wait in violent Mexico border cities, has become a key piece of the U.S. response to a large increase in asylum-seeking families, especially from Central America.



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900 asylum seekers returned to wait in Mexican border city

900 asylum seekers returned to wait in Mexican border cityThe United States government has sent about 900 mostly Central American and Cuban migrants back to this northern Mexico border city since expanding its controversial “remain in Mexico” program to the easternmost point on the shared border two weeks ago, Mexican authorities say. Under the program, migrants who turn themselves over to U.S. authorities and, in most cases, request asylum, are returned to Mexico after being given a court date.



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Trump signs ‘cruel and illegal’ deal with Guatemala to stop asylum seekers getting to US

Trump signs ‘cruel and illegal’ deal with Guatemala to stop asylum seekers getting to USThe Trump administration has struck a highly controversial deal with Guatemala, which will prevent some migrants fleeing their home countries from submitting asylum applications to the US.Refugees travelling to the US who enter Guatemala, including Salvadorans and Hondurans, will now be required to apply for asylum protection from the Central American nation instead of at the US border.Under the deal Guatemala has been declared a so-called “safe third country”.The Central American nation and the US have been negotiating the deal for months.Donald Trump earlier threatened to place trade tariffs on Guatemala if an agreement wasn’t reached.“We’ll either do tariffs or we’ll do something. We’re looking at something very severe with respect to Guatemala,” the US president said on Wednesday.Jimmy Morales, Guatemala’s president, said the agreement would allow the country to avoid “drastic sanctions … many of them designed to strongly punish our economy, such as taxes on remittances that our brothers send daily, as well as the imposition of tariffs on our export goods and migratory restrictions.” As part of the agreement the US will increase access to the the H-2A visa program for temporary agricultural workers from Guatemala. The country’s government said its labour ministry would, in the coming days, ”start issuing work visas in the agriculture industry, which will allow Guatemalans to travel legally to the United States, to avoid being victims of criminal organisations, to work temporarily and then return to Guatemala, which will strengthen family unity.”“We have long been working with Guatemala and now we can do it the right way.” Mr Trump said.“This landmark agreement will put the coyotes and smugglers out of business.”Despite the president’s optimism it remains unclear how the agreement will take effect. Guatemala’s constitutional court has granted three injunctions preventing its government from entering into a deal without approval of the country’s congress and Mr Morales himself has questioned the concept of a “safe third country”, which forms the basis of the agreement.“Where does that term exist?” he asked reporters on Friday, hours before the deal was struck.”It does not exist, it is a colloquial term. No agreement exists that is called ‘safe third country.”Rights groups have condemned the deal, with multiple experts questioning its legality.Jordan Rodas, a human rights prosecutor, said his team was studying the agreement and whether Enrique Degenhart, Guatemala’s interior minister, had the authority to sign it.Amnesty International condemned the deal, saying ”any attempts to force families and individuals fleeing their home countries to seek safety in Guatemala are outrageous.”Rights groups and student organisations rallied against the agreement in Guatemala City, gathering in front of the constitutional court.Many believe the nation, which is mired in poverty and unemployment, has no capacity to take in refugees.The problems of homelessness, severe drought, gang violence and unemployment which are endemic in El Salvador and Honduras are also present in Guatemala.Eliot Engel, a Democrat who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs said Mr Trump’s decision to sign the agreement was “cruel and immoral.”‘’It is also illegal,” he added. “Simply put, Guatemala is not a safe country for refugees and asylum seekers, as the law requires.”The president was asked on Friday if he expected to reach similar agreements with Honduras and El Salvador.He replied, “I do indeed.” Additional reporting by agencies



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US to send asylum seekers back to dangerous part of Mexico

US to send asylum seekers back to dangerous part of MexicoThe U.S. government on Friday expanded its requirement that asylum seekers wait outside the country to a part of the Texas Rio Grande Valley across from one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities. The Department of Homeland Security said that it would implement its Migrant Protection Protocols in Brownsville, Texas, across the border from Matamoros, Mexico. DHS says it anticipates the first asylum seekers will be sent back to Mexico starting Friday.



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