How Trump’s Policies Are Leaving Thousands of Asylum Seekers Waiting in Mexico

8/18/2019- The New York Times

By Jason Kao and 


For years, migrants arriving in Tijuana hoping to seek asylum in the United States have been told to add their names to a waiting list kept by Mexican immigration officials. Amid a surge in arrivals over the last year, which led to Trump administration policies designed to deter them, that list — kept in a handwritten notebook — has stretched to thousands of names.

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In Mexico, thousands more names added to border wait lists

8/9/19 – Associated Press

By Elliot Spagat

Border fence

The Cameroonian men who share 10 mattresses on the floor of a third-floor apartment above a barber shop walk every morning to the busiest U.S. border crossing with Mexico, hoping against all odds that it will be their lucky day to claim asylum in the United States. Their unlikely bet is that a sympathetic Mexican official will somehow find a spot for them.

“I go because if they open up, I’m in,” said Rashidou Hdzekasaah, 35, who has been idled in Tijuana for two months and still has more than 6,000 names ahead of him on a waiting list to claim asylum at the San Diego crossing.

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In Migrant Crisis, Border Towns Become Final Destination

8/8/19 – The New York Times

By Elisabeth Malkin


There is a new hint of life in the dilapidated downtown of Ciudad Juárez, which residents abandoned as a recession and drug gang murders ravaged the city a decade ago.

Thousands of Cubans, waiting in limbo for a decision on their requests for asylum in the United States, have made the crumbling few blocks their home, finding work and renting cheap hotel rooms.

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With Eight Mexican Deaths, El Paso Shooting Prompts New Cross-Border Anxiety

8/6/19 – Wall Street Journal

By Alicia A. Caldwell, José de Córdoba and Suman Naishadham


The first cabinet-level official to visit El Paso, Texas, after a mass shooting over the weekend came on behalf of the government on the other side of the border.

Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, spoke at his country’s consulate in El Paso on Monday, where he decried the massacre—in which 22 people including eight Mexicans were killed—as a terrorist act directed at his country’s citizens. He said six Mexican citizens remained in the hospital Monday.

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Before massacre, El Paso became a hot spot on Mexican border

8/6/19 – Associated Press

By Elliott Spagat and Cedar Attanasio


Deny Martinez paid a smuggler $7,000 to take him and his teenage son from Honduras to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, across from El Paso, Texas.

His smuggler’s destination was Ciudad Juarez, Mexico: a dry river basin in view of El Paso’s downtown office towers. The channel crosses the city and, at one point, is less than 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the Walmart where a gunman attacked shoppers on Saturday, resulting in 22 deaths.

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Overflowing Toilets, Bedbugs and High Heat: Inside Mexico’s Migrant Detention Centers

8/3/19 – The New York Times

By Kirk Semple


Migrants have been held in a wrestling arena, at a fairground and in government offices. They’ve been forced to sleep in hallways, on an outdoor basketball court, even directly on the hard ground.

Mexico’s detention centers have at times reached triple, quadruple and even quintuple their capacity. Detainees at some centers have endured extreme heat, bedbug infestations, overflowing toilets, days without showers, and shortages of food and decent health care.

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Mexico Detained Fewer Migrants in July as Crackdown Discourages Movement

8/4/19 – Wall Street Journal

By Juan Montes


Mexico’s apprehensions and deportations of Central American migrants trying to reach the U.S. remained high in July, but fell from the previous month as a policy reversal that cracked down on irregular migration deters attempts to cross Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, Mexican officials said.

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