Official: Asylum seekers to wait in Mexico as soon as Friday

SAN DIEGO — The Trump administration expects to launch a policy as early as Friday that forces people seeking asylum to wait in Mexico while their cases wind through U.S. courts, an official said, marking one of the most significant changes to the immigration system of Donald Trump’s presidency.

The changes are set to start at San Diego’s San Ysidro border crossing, according to a U.S. official familiar with the plan who spoke on condition of anonymity because it’s not yet final. San Ysidro is the nation’s busiest crossing and the choice of asylum seekers who arrived in November in Tijuana, Mexico, in a caravan of more than 6,000 mostly Central American migrants.

The policy may be expanded to other crossings and is expected to face a legal challenge. It does not apply to children travelling alone or to asylum seekers from Mexico.

The plan, which follows bilateral talks in Mexico City over the last few days, calls for U.S. authorities to bus asylum seekers back and forth to the border for court hearings in downtown San Diego, including an initial appearance within 45 days.

The Trump administration will make no arrangements for them to consult with attorneys, who may visit clients in Tijuana or speak with them by phone.

U.S. officials will begin processing only about 20 asylum claims a day at the San Diego crossing but plan to ramp up to exceed the number of claims processed now, which is up to 100 a day, the official said.

U.S. border authorities fielded 92,959 “credible fear” claims — the initial step toward asylum in which a person explains why they fear going back to their home country — during a recent 12-month period, up 67 per cent from a year earlier. Many are Central American families.

The “Remain in Mexico” policy is Trump’s latest move to reshape immigration policy, though it may prove temporary. Other major changes have been blocked in court, including a ban on seeking asylum for people who cross the border illegally from Mexico and generally dismissing domestic and gang violence as grounds for asylum.

Just Posted

Alberta investing $3.7B to move oil by rail, leasing cars

EDMONTON — The Alberta government says it’s investing $3.7 billion to move… Continue reading

Halifax fire claims seven Syrian refugee children: ‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’

HALIFAX — Seven children, all members of a Syrian refugee family, died… Continue reading

Pro-pipeline protest convoy reaches Ottawa after rolling across country

OTTAWA — A convoy of angry Albertans and other westerners rolled up… Continue reading

Rock out with the Headstones, Wide Mouth Mason at free Games concert Thursday

Wide Mouth Mason and the Headstones will rock “The Dome” heated tent… Continue reading

Amazon aims to cut its carbon footprint

NEW YORK — Amazon, which ships millions of packages a year to… Continue reading

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

TSB says improved tankers involved in Manitoba derailment that spilled crude

ST. LAZARE, Man. — Federal investigators say CN rail cars that spilled… Continue reading

Vancouver duo faced health scare while making Oscar-nominated ‘Animal Behaviour’

TORONTO — Husband-and-wife filmmakers Alison Snowden and David Fine had almost finished… Continue reading

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard drops second-round match against Simona Halep

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard is out of the… Continue reading

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld dies in Paris

PARIS — Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s iconic couturier whose designs had an unprecedented… Continue reading

Canadian women beat US 2-0 to win inaugural Rivalry Series

DETROIT — The inaugural Rivalry Series was created to give Canada and… Continue reading

Don Cherry blasts Hurricanes as ‘jerks’; team responds with his words on T-shirt

TORONTO — Don Cherry’s latest rant about the Carolina Hurricanes and their… Continue reading

Country star Miranda Lambert reveals secret marriage

NASHVILLE — Country star Miranda Lambert celebrated Valentine’s Day weekend with the… Continue reading

‘Black Panther’ costume designer blazes trail to inspire

LOS ANGELES — Ruth E. Carter is a black woman blazing a… Continue reading

Most Read