Migrants march toward US border in show of force
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Nov 26, 2018,
Nov 26, 2018, 0:16
If Mexico were to assume "safe third country" status, asylum seekers would be required to claim refugee status in Mexico rather than the United States. "Our very strong policy is Catch and Detain", he wrote in his Twitter message Saturday.
Managing attorney for the Los Angeles office of legal rights organisation Human Rights First, Jenna Gilbert, said Mr Trump's new plan is "outright illegal, and I'm sure the administration will once more see itself in court".
Under a "safe third" agreement, the US could force migrants to seek asylum in Mexico.
Some Central American migrants, mostly men, tried to breach the border crossing between Tijuana, Mexico, and California on Sunday, after pushing past a blockade of Mexican police standing guard near the worldwide border crossing in a bid to pressure the U.S to hear their asylum claims.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Pompeo made no mention of a deal but said that he and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had "a constructive meeting" with Mexico's future foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard over the caravans.
Others, he said, would "stay in Mexico", he added, without elaboration.
Trump orders crackdown on asylum seekers
Similar caravans have gathered regularly over the years and have generally dwindled by the time they reach the southern border. It is unclear how numerous migrants traveling in the caravans will approach the ports of entry and attempt to enter legally.
Tijuana officials anticipate that as many as 10,000 Central American migrants could eventually converge on the city and be stuck there for months as they seek to file asylum claims in the United States, a time-consuming process. President Enrique Pena Nieto offered thousands of Central Americans asylum on October 26 if they agreed to remain in southern Mexico.
Democrats and human rights activists are likely to be concerned about the "Remain in Mexico" strategy, and in the past have expressed concern it may put migrants at risk and make it more hard for them to apply for asylum.
Approximately 5,000 Central American migrants have arrived in recent days to Tijuana, just south of California, after making their way through Mexico via caravan. Many hope to apply for asylum in the USA, but agents at the San Ysidro entry point are processing fewer than 100 asylum petitions a day.
On Friday, Tijuana's mayor, Juan Manuel Gastlum, declared a humanitarian crisis in his city of 1.6 million, which he said was struggling to accommodate the crush of migrants.
United States asylum officers will begin implementing the new procedures in coming days or weeks, Homeland Security officials cited by the Post said.
But she said they could not make any agreement on the issue, since they are not yet in government.
Trump used the caravans as an election issue in this month's midterms, sending U.S. military to the border and authorising troops to use lethal force.