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Despite fears, asylum seekers stuck in Mexico

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:28s - Published < > Embed
Despite fears, asylum seekers stuck in Mexico

Despite fears, asylum seekers stuck in Mexico

Once asylum seekers are ordered to return to Mexico as per President Trump's Migrant Protection Protocols policy, their chances of getting that decision reversed on safety grounds are exceedingly small, a Reuters analysis of U.S. immigration court data from the Executive Office for Immigration Review shows.

Jillian Kitchener reports.

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Despite fears, asylum seekers stuck in Mexico

They fled their homes in Central America seeking a better life in the United States… But many are left in limbo.

Under President Donald Trump’s ‘Migrant Protection Protocols’ or MPP policy — more than 11,000 asylum seekers have been forced to wait in Mexico while their U.S. legal proceedings are underway.

And according to a exclusive Reuters report -even if migrants claim that they are not safe in Mexico- their chances of being allowed to wait in the U.S. are exceedingly small.

(SOUNDBITE) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, MICA ROSENBERG, SAYING: "...And this is especially concerning considering that the policy is now going to rapidly expand across the entire Southwest border.

So what we did is we went into immigration court data which tracks all of the court cases in the U.S. system from the Executive Office for Immigration Review and we were able to find the cases that had been put into this migrant protection protocols program... Only one percent of the cases that we found are people who have been transferred out of the program and have been allowed to pursue their asylum cases in the United States.

This is an indicator to us that it's very difficult for people to prove that they face serious fear or harm or persecution in Mexico and that even though they're supposed to be a process for them to sit tell that to U.S. officials and be able to stay if that is the case.” And there’s a high bar for fearful migrants to actually wait in the U.S., vs.

Mexico.

(SOUNDBITE) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, MICA ROSENBERG, SAYING: "...And that's by design.

The U.S. government has said in court filings that it generally doesn't agree that the majority of Central Americans are facing serious danger of persecution in Mexico.

But on the other hand the migrants themselves and advocates who are fighting for their cases say that a lot of immigrants don't really know how to properly present the fear that they face in Mexico they arrive you know often with just what they're carrying they don't have a lot of documents and evidence.

And so it makes it almost impossible for them to pass.” Reuters also discovered more than 3,000 of the asylum seekers ordered to wait in Mexico are children, including at least 100 babies.

How long will the migrants wait?

Reuters found the bulk of asylum hearings have been scheduled for this summer and fall, and a handful for later this year and early 2020.



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