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Trump Administration Says Asylum Seekers Must Stay in Mexico While Claims Are Processed


Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced last week that the United States and Mexico have reached a deal which would send asylum seekers who illegally cross the southern U.S. border back to Mexico throughout the duration of their immigration proceedings.

Immigrants who enter the country illegally or without the proper documents will no longer be released into the country, where they typically disappear before a court determines the merit of their claims. Instead, they will be processed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and given a “Notice to Appear” for their immigration hearing, which allows them back into the U.S. for court proceedings.

In turn, Mexico will provide humanitarian visas, work permits, legal services, and other forms of aid while the immigrants wait until their claims are processed. Earlier this month, the Trump administration vowed to contribute nearly $6 billion toward Mexico’s $40 billion development plan to help create jobs and opportunities in Mexico and three Central American countries.

However, both U.S. and Mexican officials have yet to work out how the policy will be carried out. Additionally, shelter provided to Central American migrants is at full capacity and in terrible shape. Although these individuals are given access to U.S. immigration attorneys, these lawyers may experience difficult assisting their clients since they will be in Mexico—many without access to phones or the Internet.

The recent arrival of the Central American caravan at the U.S.-Mexico border has reignited national attention about asylum seekers. President Trump has denounced the wave of immigrants as a threat to national security.

According to federal law, anyone has a right to seek asylum in the U.S.—if they enter the country legally or illegally. You can seek asylum if you are facing persecution in your home country.

Contact our Santa Barbara immigration attorneys at Appel & Morse for more information about asylum and other immigration matters today.

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