The port of entry connecting Tijuana with San Diego, the country's busiest border crossing, will allow only 20 migrants to apply for asylum every Friday, a Mexican government official said Friday. Before the change in policy, customs and border guards had processed up to 100 people per day.
The capacity reduction – known in immigration circles as "metering" – came on the day Trump AdministrationA comprehensive policy change that forces asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while awaiting their hearings before the US Immigration Court Before the policy change asylum seekers in the United States were either behind bars or not
US officials have told Mexican officials that as of 25 January, they would process and return 20 immigrants a day at the port of entry of San Ysidro, a spokesman for the Mexican Foreign Relations Committee said at a press conference in Mexico City, they will join the thousands of others waiting in Tijuana just to pass through the port of entry and apply for asylum.
"Taking in only 20 people a day by measuring in the Port of San Ysidro is a significant reduction from the Past, "said Ruby Powers, a Texas-based lawyer who volunteers in the border town. "It will further aggravate the already intense backlog of asylum seekers in Mexico."
During the press conference in Mexico City, the spokesman for the Mexican Foreign Relations Committee, despite disagreeing with the new United States Protocol, said they would stick to it. At meetings prior to Thursday's political announcement, US officials said the protocol would be rolled out to the country's other entry ports along the southern border, the Mexican government official said at the press conference.
Refuges in Tijuana are already at capacity, said Powers.
Now thatwere forced to wait in the border town rather than in the US, and with a new caravan of 6,000 people arriving in December, there are not enough resources to go around, said Katie Shepherd, an attorney for the Immigration Justice Campaign, in a telephone interview with CBS News.
"The availability of legal services, housing and other basic needs is extremely limited in Tijuana," said Shepherd. "This policy will lead to catastrophic consequences for vulnerable asylum-seeking families."
Metering or just a certain number of people crossing the border and applying for asylum has become commonplace at the southern border and has immigration advocates.
A class action lawsuit, Al Otro Lado, Inc. v. Nielsen, has challenged the Trump administration's practice of limiting the number of asylum seekers allowed to enter the country, claiming US government officials have "a formal Restrictive policies "give access to the asylum procedure at the ports of entry, by requiring subordinate officials to return directly or constructively to asylum seekers at the border. "
At a port of call near Brownsville, Texas, customs and border guards did not allow anyone to cross the border and seek asylum for four days this month," said a Texas-based immigration lawyer, Jodi Goodwin. In a telephone interview with CBS News.
The number of migrants waiting on the other side of the border grew to about 50 asylum seekers, many of whom were women and children and had to sleep on the street when exposed to rain and wind Goodwin: Although there is a shelter in the vicinity, migrants fear that if they leave the immediate vicinity of the port of entry, they will lose their place in line.
"The asylum seekers themselves are frustrated, they are drained, they & # 39; , I've been through so much to make the trip here, "said Goodwin. They expect that once they are there, at least they will be processed, but that's just not the case. "