Advocates: Asylum-Seekers Are Being Turned Away at Border

1/18/2017 New York Times

San_ysidro_border_pedsSAN DIEGO — Immigrant advocacy groups said Tuesday that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are allegedly turning away asylum-seekers before their claims can be heard, violating obligations under U.S. and international law.

The groups said they began fielding reports in the summer that border crossers entering the country from Mexico were being told that they couldn’t seek asylum, that they needed visas, or that that they first had to petition Mexican authorities for relief. Under U.S. law, any foreigner may claim asylum.

Many are left with the impression that the U.S. is no longer considering asylum requests, according to the complaint filed Friday to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general. Six groups, including the American Immigration Lawyers Association, American Civil Liberties Union and American Immigration Council, urged an investigation “to fully address this alarming new trend.”

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