UPDATED 8:01 AM PT — Wednesday, January 30, 2019
The Trump administration is beginning to enforce its new policy of returning Central American asylum seekers to Mexico.
Immigration officials reportedly sent the first migrant — a man from Honduras — back to Tijuana, Mexico to wait for the duration of his asylum proceedings. According to officials, some 20 migrants per day will be returned to Mexico after filing their asylum cases in the U.S.
The Department of Homeland Security said the new policy aims to discourage invalid asylum claims.
Meanwhile, many migrants are considering accepting asylum offers and work permits from Mexico to remain in that country.
“Asylum seekers are being returned to Mexico, or to their countries like Guatemala or Honduras. My advice would be for them to wait. If we get work, we can work here in Mexico. Just like on the other side, we can work here. Whoever wants to work can work wherever, not just in the United States.” — Juan Pablo Garcia, Honduran migrant
Mexican authorities said they would accept all migrants except unaccompanied children and those who have health problems or would be in danger in Mexico.