Trump Admin. Wants to Keep Asylum Seekers South of the Border
President Trump wants Mexico to process and temporarily settle refugees fleeing its southern neighbors, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, even if their ultimate goal is to reach the U.S. and seek asylum.
DESPARDES — The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that it would fight a federal court decision to stop the near-ban on asylum applications at the U.S.-Mexico border. On Wednesday, a federal judge in California blocked the rule, which would require those seeking asylum in the United States to apply first in a country they passed through along the way.
Increasingly, Mexico is becoming that country: U.S. authorities have continued to expand the “remain in Mexico” program, sending those already awaiting asylum applications across the border to Mexico. Hundreds of Central American asylum seekers were bussed to Monterrey this week, one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities, where thousands of people are already camped, some for several months.
The U.S. is trying to curtail the large flow of Central American migrants passing through Mexico to seek asylum under American law. The Trump administration has pressured Mexico to crack down on migrants, threatening earlier this year to impose crippling tariffs until both sides agreed on new measures targeting migration.
President Trump wants Mexico at least to act like a wall, by doing more to keep Central American migrants away from the U.S.
He wants it to process and temporarily settle refugees fleeing its southern neighbors, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, even if their ultimate goal is to reach the U.S. and seek asylum. Until recently, these people were largely given free passage across Mexico’s southern border with only occasional legal hassles as they traversed the country to the U.S. border.
According to reports, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is set to meet Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández on Saturday to discuss migration and related issues, as both countries face continued pressure from the Trump administration to slow migrant flows.