90 Miles From Tyranny : Trump Administration Expands Scope of Program to Return Illegal Immigrants to Mexico

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Trump Administration Expands Scope of Program to Return Illegal Immigrants to Mexico

The Trump administration has just expanded the scope of a program that returns illegal immigrants, mostly from Central America, to Mexico to await processing of their asylum requests, as Reuters reports:

“The United States will expand the scope of a program that returns non-Mexican migrants crossing Mexico’s border to that country to await their U.S. court hearings, the Department of Homeland Security said on Thursday.

Washington already has sent more than 56,000 migrants to Mexico under the program, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). The majority have been Central Americans applying for U.S. asylum.

The effort — which had been implemented over the past year at ports of entry in Texas and California — will be applied at a port of entry south of Tucson, Ariz. Previously, migrants encountered in that area had been sent to El Paso, Texas, to process their return to Mexico.

President Donald Trump has made immigration enforcement a major focus of his first term in office and has continued to press the issue in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said in a written statement on Thursday that the MPP program has been “an extremely effective tool” for the United States.

In December, U.S. border authorities expanded a separate program to process asylum cases rapidly to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, according to CBS News. The program, known as Prompt Asylum Claim Review (PACR), had been launched months earlier as a pilot in the El Paso area.

U.S. authorities have not specified the criteria to place migrants in a growing array of border programs, which include MPP, PACR and another initiative that sends asylum seekers from Honduras and El Salvador to request protection in Guatemala.

Rodney Scott, acting deputy chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, told reporters in December that the factors “change on a daily basis” but are determined in coordination with the receiving countries.”

We applaud this move by the Trump administration. The rule of law must apply to the border, just like anything else.

People cannot cross our border anytime they feel like it. There must be strong and strict penalties for...

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