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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Fleeing gang warfare, more Central Americans seek refuge in Mexico

1/12/2017 Reuters

Puente Dr. Rodolfo Robles Ciudad Hidalgo Chiapas - Tecún Umán Guatemala  DSC_0914 Ernesto (2)Mexico was until recently a transit country for Central American migrants seeking to reach the United States in the search of a better life.

But the escalating violence has led to a surge in the number of asylum claims from Central American migrants who are increasingly looking to Mexico for refuge, reaching levels not seen since the region’s civil wars ended decades ago.

In the first 9 months of 2016, Mexico received nearly 7,000 asylum requests – more than five times more than in 2013.

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Central American immigrants opting for Mexico rather than the US

12/18/2016 The Nation 

fence at borderTENOSIQUE, Mexico // Carlos Mejia and his family live in a room furnished only with a bare mattress in this southern Mexican town near the Guatemalan border. Their neighbours are Hondurans like them.

Mr Mejia has a job that pays $8 (Dh29) for a 12-hour day, enough for electricity, water and some food. The United Nations refugee agency pays his rent and that of a growing number of immigrant families in the town of 32,000 people.

He is one of more than 8,000 immigrants expected to seek asylum this year from Mexico, the majority fleeing gang violence in Honduras and El Salvador and to a lesser extent Guatemala. The exodus is turning southern Mexican towns into informal refugee camps.

The decision to settle in Mexico and not continue to the United States is tied to increased recognition of the risks of crossing Mexico and more recently the hostile rhetoric of US president-elect Donald Trump, the immigrants and their advocates say.

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Mexico braces for fresh flood of Central American asylum seekers

12/15/2016 Reuters 

Popocatepetl volcano spews ashMexico expects a sharp increase in people seeking asylum from Central America next year, fleeing gang warfare and poverty in their home countries, a senior official said on Thursday.

There has been a steady surge of Central Americans applying for asylum in Mexico since 2015. Cinthia Perez, a director of Mexico’s refugee agency COMAR, said in an interview that she is receiving about 9 percent more applications each month.

There were 3,424 asylum applications in 2015, and she predicts ending 2016 with around 8,000. That figure could well rise to 22,501 by the end of 2017 if the trend of 9 percent more applications each month continues.

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VIDEO | What Does the World Expect of President-elect Trump: Mexico

Director Duncan Wood discusses what Mexico expects of President-elect Donald Trump.

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‘Invisible’ Children: Raised in the U.S., Now Struggling in Mexico

11/13/16 NPR Ed

Student by flickr user RightIndexChildren and teenagers of Mexican descent make up one of the fastest-growing populations in the nation’s public schools.

That’s a well-known statistic, but less known is that, in the last eight years, nearly 500,000 of these children have returned to Mexico with their families. Nine out of 10 are U.S. citizens because they were born in the U.S. That’s according to Mexican and U.S. government figures compiled by researchers with the University of California system, and the Civil Rights Project at UCLA.

These families have returned to Mexico because of the economic downturn in the U.S. Many others were deported and had no choice but to take their U.S.-born children with them.

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Mexico says does not expect Trump deportation plan to begin soon

11/9/16 Reuters

immigrationDeportations of undocumented Mexican migrants in the United States may start rising when President-elect Donald Trump takes office but the process will not begin soon, Mexico’s deputy interior minister for migration said on Wednesday.

Trump surged to victory early on Wednesday morning after upsetting pollsters’ predictions to beat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and seize the White House in a campaign that sent the world into uncertainty.

The impact of his win was particularly acute in Mexico, where the beleaguered peso currency fell about 10 percent in the aftermath of the vote.

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