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US to send migrants back to Mexico like “ping-pong balls”

US to send migrants back to Mexico like “ping-pong balls”

US to send migrants back to Mexico like “ping-pong balls”
December 21
02:55 2018

The administration of Donald Trump announced Thursday it will send migrants who cross the southern borders back to Mexico while their cases are pending so they cannot “disappear” on the US soil.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in statement that “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,'” she added.

The measure is an aggressive response to a large and growing number of Central American asylum seekers, many of them families, who are typically released in the United States while their cases slowly wind through clogged immigration courts.

The announcement came after US courts rebuffed President Trump's order to deny asylum across the board to tens of thousands of Central Americans, mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, who have headed northward fleeing poverty and violence in their countries.

The move threatened to change the dynamic on the porous, 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) border, forcing more migrants to accept staying in Mexico for long periods or choose to try and sneak into the United States undetected, an often high-risk option.

“We expect this will result in a truly historic drop in illegal immigration, because the incentive to come here — file an asylum claim and remain in the United States during the pendency of that claim — will no longer exist,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“We've made clear to the Mexican government our intent to do this,” Pompeo added.

The government of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office Dec. 1, said foreigners will have temporary permission to remain in Mexico on humanitarian grounds after getting a notice to appear in US immigration court and they will be allowed to seek work authorization.

Mexico's Washington charge d'affairs Jose Antonio Zabalgoitia told reporters his country would “guarantee that foreign people who have received their appointment (in the United States) fully enjoy the rights and freedoms recognized by the constitution.”

But he also urged Washington “not to turn migrants into ping-pong balls.”

“The measure applies only to people seeking asylum” in the United States, Zabalgoitia said, adding that his country “will not accept people deported from the United States.”

The new policy was attacked by Bennie Thompson, the senior Democrat of the US House Homeland Security Committee.

“The administration is now hell-bent on taking out its frustration on vulnerable people fleeing violence by making our asylum process even more difficult. Today's announcement threatens to put migrants in greater danger,” he said.

US court backs Trump’s deportation of Iraqi migrants

A US appeals court on Thursday backed the Trump administration in its attempt to deport from the United States about 100 Iraqi immigrants who had been convicted of crimes years ago.

A divided 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals panel reversed a lower court ruling that had blocked US President Trump's bid to send the immigrants back to Iraq.

In 2017, the Trump administration detained the Iraqis as part of a broad effort to ramp up immigration enforcement across the country.

Back in November, Trump signed an immigration order to clamp down on asylum seekers who illegally cross the southern border into the United States. But the policy was blocked by US District Judge Jon Tigar.

The judge issued a temporary nationwide restraining order barring enforcement of the policy after hearing arguments in the case, according to the reports.

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