Report: President Trump plans new ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy for asylum-seekers

by WorldTribune Staff, November 22, 2018

Under a new Trump administration policy, migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border who are seeking asylum in the United States would be required to wait in Mexico as their requests are processed, a report said.

Central American migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico. / AFP

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memos indicate asylum seekers would have to establish a “reasonable fear” of persecution in Mexico to be allowed to come to the U.S. while authorities review their asylum requests under the new policy, dubbed “Remain in Mexico,” The Washington Post, which said it obtained the memos, reported on Nov. 21.

A Mexican official told the Post that Mexican law does not allow those seeking asylum in other countries to stay in Mexico.

Two DHS officials familiar with the policy told the Post it could take effect as soon as Nov. 23, though the DHS issued a statement on Nov. 21 saying there were no plans to implement the new policy this week.

The current policy allows asylum seekers who have established a fear of returning to their home nations to remain in the U.S. while they await a hearing with an immigration judge.

DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman said “The President has made clear – every single legal option is on the table to secure our nation and to deal with the flood of illegal immigrants at our borders.”

Waldman added: “DHS is not implementing such a new enforcement program this week. Reporting on policies that do not exist create uncertainty and confusion along our borders and has a negative real world impact. We will ensure – as always – that any new program or policy will comply with humanitarian obligations, uphold our national security and sovereignty, and is implemented with notice to the public and well coordinated with partners.”

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