DHS Announces Asylum Seekers Must Wait in Mexico While Claims Processed

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that individuals seeking asylum within the United States will be returned to Mexico “for the duration of their immigration proceedings.”

“Effective immediately, the United States will begin the process of invoking Section 235(b)(2)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act,” announced DHS.  “Under the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP), individuals arriving in or entering the United States from Mexico—illegally or without proper documentation—may be returned to Mexico for the duration of their immigration proceedings.”

DHS hopes the new rules will help curb the exploitation of asylum loopholes within the U.S. immigration process. The agency has seen a 2,000 percent increase in aliens claiming “credible fear,” which is the first step in obtaining asylum. DHS says most of the claims “are not meritorious.” 


“…Nine out of ten asylum claims are not granted by a federal immigration judge,” states a department press release. “However, by the time a judge has ordered them removed from the United States, many have vanished.”

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said, “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.”

Homeland Security’s Process for Asylum Seekers:

  • “Aliens trying to enter the U.S. to claim asylum will no longer be released into our country, where they often disappear before a court can determine their claim’s merits.
  • Instead, those aliens will be processed by DHS and given a “Notice to Appear” for their immigration court hearing.
  • While they wait in Mexico, the Mexican government has made its own determination to provide such individuals humanitarian visas, work authorization, and other protections. Aliens will have access to immigration attorneys and to the U.S. for their court hearings.
  • Aliens whose claims are upheld by U.S. judges will be allowed in. Those without valid claims will be deported to their home countries.”
Yesterday a federal judge ruled that asylum seekers who sued the U.S. after being deported must be brought back into the country to have their claims heard again.

The ruling–by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan–comes one day after he presided over the dramatic sentencing hearing of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Sullivan stated in his ruling, “The Court holds that it has jurisdiction to hear plaintiffs’ challenges to the credible fear policies, that it has the authority to order the injunctive relief, and that, with the exception of two policies, the new credible fear policies are arbitrary, capricious, and in violation of the immigration laws.”

He also ordered the government to “return to the United States the plaintiffs who were unlawfully deported and to provide them with new credible fear determinations consistent with the immigration laws.”

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