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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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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Mexico Opens First Government Shelter for Asylum Seekers

8/1/19 – The New York Times


The Mexican government opened its first shelter Thursday in the border city of Juarez to house Central Americans and other migrants seeking asylum in the United States who have been sent back to Mexico to await the process.

Government officials said the shelter at a former assembly plant in the city across from El Paso, Texas, can house 3,500 migrants.

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Cuban Migrants Are Thwarted in Mexico by New Asylum Rules

8/2/19 – Wall Street Journal

By Santiago Pérez


A surge of Cuban asylum seekers, long accustomed to preferential treatment under U.S. migration policies, are being stopped by U.S. government efforts to contain a tide of Central Americans migrating north.

Thousands of Cuban migrants have been stranded for months in violent towns along the U.S.-Mexico border, trying to request asylum in the U.S. even as the Trump administration imposes more restrictions on asylum seekers.

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