Mexico to Let Migrants Remain While US Asylum Claims Proceed

Dec 20, 2018
11:48 AM

U.S. authorities fill the Tijuana River with sand mounds and concertina wire, at the border line between Mexico and the United States, in preparation on November 18, 2018. (Photo by GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico has agreed to a U.S. proposal to let third-country migrants remain in or be returned to Mexico while their claims for asylum in the United States are being processed.

The decision was a historic one for Mexico, which has traditionally refused to accept the return of any migrants who aren’t Mexican.

Mexico’s Foreign relations Department said Thursday the move is a temporary, humanitarian measure.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has been struggling with an increase in asylum claims and limits on its ability to detain asylum seekers

The news from Mexico came the same day Department of Homeland Security Secretary Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced a U.S. policy change on individuals who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border without documentation with the intent of seeking asylum.

“Aliens trying to game the system to get into our country illegally will no longer be able to disappear into the United States, where many skip their court dates. Instead, they will wait for an immigration court decision while they are in Mexico. ‘Catch and release’ will be replaced with ‘catch and return.’ In doing so, we will reduce illegal migration by removing one of the key incentives that encourages people from taking the dangerous journey to the United States in the first place. This will also allow us to focus more attention on those who are actually fleeing persecution,” Nielsen said in a statement.

Latino Rebels added Nielsen’s announcement to the original AP story.