The Trump government has directed border officials to hold an asylum program for Spanish-speaking and Latin American migrants, according to memos received from The Associated Press.
The program was launched at the end of January to treat asylum seekers in the US and initially only to those who were at border crossings.
According to The Associated Press, a memo from a senior Border Patrol official said the program was expanded last week to accommodate those who crossed the line illegally. [19659002DasMemolegteBerichtenzufolgeAnweisungendarübervorwerdurchdastraditionelleAsylverfahrenzugelassenwirdundwernachMexikozurückgeschicktwerdensollDentraditionellenVerfahrenzufolgedürfenLGBT-MigrantenschwangereFrauenmexikanischeAsylbewerberalleinreisendeKinderundsolchediesichinNotbefindenlautAP
Another directive in the memo instructs reported that the border guards check whether they have asylum seekers convicted of crimes and put Mexico informed at least 1
Critics have pointed out that the program guidelines are aimed almost exclusively at Central Americans.
A second memo, sent to senior border officials on Tuesday, reportedly pressured the agency to use the program as much as possible. Another AP memorandum showed that the program will be extended to people who cross the border crossing illegally.
The news from the reported memos comes when the southwestern border has seen a significant increase in concern and disapproval by people trying to enter the United States last month.
US. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data show that 66,450 people were arrested after crossing the ports of entry in February, compared to 47,986 in the previous month.
The sharp increase in arrests was caused by a sustained upward trend in the crossings of family units, according to the administration.
It is unclear to what extent the higher numbers are due to a continued increase in migrants fleeing Central America, or whether the data is distorted by behavioral changes of migrants, such as travel, in caravans and more generally to authorities rather than creeping in.