Thursday, July 18, 2019

GOOD NEWS: New U.S. Asylum Rule Strands Thousands at Southern Border

Gregory Bull/Associated Press
Migrants holding numbers given months ago for an interview will have to apply first to other countries if the new policy is not overturned by courts
Mexico—Pedro Luis Ruiz was tantalizingly close to an asylum interview after waiting months at the U.S. border. American officials were just a few hundred numbers away from calling his—12,346. Then the rules changed.
On Tuesday, about two dozen immigrants were allowed by U.S. authorities to cross the U.S.-Mexico border and request asylum at key ports of entry in Texas and California, a day after the Trump administration said that asylum seekers who pass through a third country must first apply for refugee status there rather than the U.S.
U.S. immigration officials were grappling with how to carry out a policy that seeks to effectively close the border to the vast majority of the 18,700 asylum seekers on Mexico’s side of the border. Most of them have traveled from Central America and Cuba.
Photo: Luke E. Montavon for The WSJ
“President Trump has the right to think as he wishes, but in this case he is wrong,” said Mr. Ruiz, a Cuban activist who joined an underground opposition party and says he cannot return to Cuba for fear of political persecution. “I will not feel protected anywhere in the world other than the U.S.”
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of civil-rights and immigration groups on Tuesday challenging the new rules. The suit calls them “an unlawful effort to significantly undermine, if not virtually repeal, the U.S. asylum system at the southern border, and cruelly closes our doors to refugees fleeing persecution.”
Starting last year, such asylum seekers tried to enter the U.S. to apply for asylum and were instead given a number and told to wait in Mexico for an asylum interview.
Since border crossings were overwhelmed with growing numbers of Central American migrants, U.S. officials said they had to implement a metering system, allowing only a few dozen migrants a day to hold an interview with an asylum officer—the first step in gaining asylum—to clear them for an immigration court hearing.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE and follow links below to related stories:

WSJ: Little Changes at U.S. Border Amid Confusion Over Trump Asylum Rules Facing Lawsuit

WSJ: System Under Strain: How the U.S. Actually Manages the Thousands of Migrant Families Entering Each Day

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