According to reporting from Reuters, the United States government is preparing to unveil a new plan that will send some asylum seekers back to Tijuana, Mexico while their immigration claim is processing. This is a major policy shift by the Trump Administration — and it raises some serious red flags. In this article, our dedicated Los Angeles asylum attorney explains what we know so far about this new policy.
Asylum Seekers Waiting in Mexico: How Will the New Plan Work?
At this point, it is still somewhat unclear as to how exactly this new Trump Administration policy will work in practice. What we know so far from the Reuters report is that the administration is set to begin rolling out this new process at the San Ysidro port of entry. This is the border entry point that is in between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico. It is one of the busiest border crossings in the entire world.
When a person crosses at this port without legal documents, they will be given a Notice to Appear for an initial immigration hearing. After this initial hearing, they will then be transported back into Mexico. From there, asylum seekers will be required to stay and wait in Mexico, until their next hearing date arrives. Unfortunately, in many cases, that could be a very long wait. There is a major backlog in our immigration courts; and President Trump’s 35-day-long partial government shutdown only made things far worse.
Why This Proposal is a Very Bad Idea
Similar to many other Trump Administration proposals, this new policy has the potential to cause very serious harm to immigrants. First and foremost, Mexico is not always a safe place for migrants to wait to enter the United States. Several human rights groups and immigrant rights watchdogs have raised serious concerns over the safety issue. Notably, two teenagers from Honduras were tragically murdered in Tijuana last month while they were waiting for their chance to apply for asylum in the United States. Beyond the direct safety threats, there are also more general concerns about the overall conditions that asylum seekers must deal with while waiting in Mexico.
Finally, this policy achieves nothing. There is not a valid reason why asylum seekers cannot wait for their hearing in the United States. Asylum is a form of legal immigration. Migrants facing persecution in their native country have every right to apply for asylum in the United States. Yet, the Trump Administration has repeatedly tried to put hurdles and obstacles in their way.
Find Out How Our California Asylum Attorney Can Help You
At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are proud to advocate for the rights and interests of asylum seekers. To get immediate assistance with your asylum claim, please call us for a confidential consultation. With an office in Los Angeles, we handle all types of immigration law matters in Southern California.