US to begin returning asylum-seekers to Mexico

The United States will begin implementing a new policy that will send asylum-seekers to Mexico until their cases are processed by immigration courts.  Previously, most asylum-seekers could wait in the U.S. for the chance to plead their cause in the courts.  But with asylum requests skyrocketing and the backlog in immigration courts growing, the Trump administration negotiated an agreement with Mexico to house asylum-seekers until their cases have been adjudicated.

Reuters:

The policy dubbed the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and first announced on Dec. 20 will return non-Mexican migrants who cross the U.S. southern border back to wait in Mexico while their asylum requests are processed in U.S. immigration courts.

The plan is aimed at curbing the increasing number of families arriving mostly from Central America who say they fear returning to their home countries due to threats of violence.  The Trump administration says many of the claims are not valid.

The program will apply to arriving migrants who ask for asylum at ports of entry or who are caught crossing illegally and say they are afraid to return home.

Children traveling on their own and some migrants from "vulnerable populations" could be excluded on a case-by-case basis, the Department of Homeland Security said in a fact sheet.

"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 DHS said.

In 2018, the number of asylum requests increased by a whopping 67%.  This was entirely due to the dramatic increase in people from Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua traveling in family groups to present themselves at the border looking to get in.

Asylum seekers are typically granted the right to stay in the United States while their cases are decided by a U.S. immigration judge, but a backlog of more than 800,000 cases means the process can take years.

Now, the U.S. government says migrants will be turned away with a "notice to appear" in immigration court.  They will be able to enter the United States for their hearings but will have to live in Mexico in the interim.  If they lose their cases, they will be deported to their home countries.

Mexico has said it will not accept anybody facing a credible threat in Mexican territory.

The new policy makes perfect sense and is humane as well.  So, of course, the usual suspects are opposed to it.  The advocates for illegal aliens and open borders will oppose anything that makes it harder for people to come into the U.S. and disappear. 

There is no doubt that life is hard and dangerous in many Central American countries.  The same could be said for most nations on Earth.  Given the reality of the way our immigration system has been taxed to the limit by the flood of humanity streaming toward our borders, this change in policy is welcome.