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US expels thousands to Mexico after largely halting asylum

A U.S. Border Patrol agent wouldn't let Jackeline Reyes explain why she and her 15-year-old daughter fled Honduras and needed asylum, pointing to the coronavirus. It was just days after the Trump...

4/10/2020 3:29:00 AM

The Trump administration has used an obscure public health law during the corona virus outbreak to justify one of its most aggressive border crackdowns: immediately returning migrants to Mexico without giving them a chance to seek asylum.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent wouldn't let Jackeline Reyes explain why she and her 15-year-old daughter fled Honduras and needed asylum, pointing to the coronavirus. It was just days after the Trump...

A U.S. Border Patrol agent wouldn’t let Jackeline Reyes explain why she and her 15-year-old daughter fled Honduras and needed asylum, pointing to the coronavirus. It was just days after the Trump administration essentially shut down the nation’s asylum system.

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“The agent told us about the virus and that we couldn’t go further, but she didn’t let us speak or anything,” said Reyes, 35, who was shuttled on March 24 to Reynosa, Mexico, a violent border city.President Donald Trump’s administration is relying on a seldom-used public health law to set aside decades-old national and international immigration laws. People seeking refuge in the U.S. are whisked to the nearest border crossing and returned to Mexico without a chance to apply for asylum. It may be the most aggressive clampdown on immigration by a president who’s made reducing asylum claims a top priority.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday that nearly 10,000 Mexicans and Central Americans have been “expelled” to Mexico since the rules took effect March 21. Mark Morgan, the agency’s acting commissioner, said the changes were “not about immigration.”

“What’s happening right now is a public health crisis driven by a global pandemic, which has resulted in a national emergency declared by this president to protect the health and safety of every American in this country,” he told reporters.Mexico is providing critical support, agreeing to take migrants from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, who accounted for well over half of all U.S. border arrests last year.

The Trump administration has offered little detail on the rules, which haven’t been challenged in court. The lack of specifics means the change got little attention when it went public March 20, the same day Trump announced at a news conference that the southern border was closed to nonessential travel.

The administration tapped a law allowing the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ban foreigners if their entry would create “a serious danger” to the spread of communicable disease. The U.S. has the most confirmed cases in the world by far. CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield issued a 30-day order and said he may extend it.

“The administration is able to do what they always wanted to do,” said Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy counsel for the American Immigration Council, which has criticized the administration. “I don’t see this slowing down.”Mexico said it won’t take unaccompanied children and other “vulnerable people.” Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, Mexico’s consul general in San Diego, said that includes people who are over 65, pregnant or sick.

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The U.S. also is returning Central American children who travel with grandparents, siblings and other relatives, said a congressional aide who was briefed by Customs and Border Protection officials and spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information was not intended for public release. Previously, children who weren’t with parents or guardians were considered unaccompanied and automatically put into the asylum pipeline.

Full Coverage:ImmigrationThe health risks of holding migrants in crowded spaces like Border Patrol stations is “the touchstone of this order,” Redfield wrote. He said exceptions to immediately expelling someone can be considered but didn’t elaborate.“If someone is deemed to have the appropriate level of fear, those will be processed on a case-by-case basis,” Morgan, the CBP acting chief, said Thursday.

An internal Border Patrol memoobtained by ProPublicaoffers some detail on exemptions: An agent who determines that a migrant claims a “reasonably believable” fear of being tortured can be referred for additional screening under the U.N. Convention Against Torture, a lesser form of asylum that’s harder to qualify for.

Matthew Dyman, a CBP spokesman, declined to comment on the memo this week.“Obtaining and posting leaked information is a great way to degrade trust and communication between CBP and the media,” he said.Under the rules, agents take migrants to the nearest border crossing in specially designated vehicles and avoid stations, minimizing the risk of exposure to the virus. Those not sent to Mexico are flown to their home countries.

CBP said it has less than 100 people in custody, down from a peak of more than 19,000 during last year’s surge of border crossers. During the first 11 days of the new rules, 6,375 people were expelled on the Mexican border and 20 on the Canadian border.

Ten Senate Democrats sent a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who oversees border agencies, saying the Trump administration appeared to have “granted itself sweeping powers to summarily expel large, unknown numbers of individuals arriving at our border.”

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“A public health crisis does not give the Executive Branch a free pass to violate constitutional rights, nor does it give the Executive Branch permission to operate outside of the law,” they wrote Tuesday.For Reyes and others sent to Mexico, they don’t know what’s next. She tried getting home to Honduras despite learning her brother had been killed there and her mother and 7-year-old daughter had fled to the Nicaraguan border, but she’s stuck in Mexico as the virus closed borders in Central America.

Reyes said she joined dozens who entered the Guatemalan mountains illegally in a bid to reach Honduras but was stopped by soldiers and returned to Mexico, where she was quarantined in a migrant shelter.Four adults and seven children expelled from Texas also crossed into the mountains and are now hiding at a house in Guatemala because of a curfew tied to the virus.

“We want to leave already, but I don’t know who can help us,” said Fanny Jaqueline Ortiz of Honduras, who was with her 12- and 3-year-old daughters. “There is no transportation, no bus, nothing.”Many Mexican shelters have closed, leaving many stranded in violent cities or reliant on relatives in the U.S. to send money.

Trump’s previous policies have targeted asylum but stopped short of suspending it altogether, acknowledging the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention to provide haven to displaced people and a 1980 U.S. law that established the asylum system.___Verza reported from Mexico City and Fox from Washington. Associated Press reporters Astrid Galvan, Nomaan Merchant and Elliot Spagat contributed to this report.

Read more: The Associated Press »

richpaulson3 heartbreaking. But as long as the derangedAnimal is in WH all immigrants are better off not being at mercy of the leathalIneptMaggot. Obscure? When is a law obscure? It's either on the books or not. Good Seek asylum in Mexico drawandstrike Great News! Excellent. Maybe there’s an obscure law for criminally biased journalism.

Niiiiice Awesome! Is that an actual problem at this time You are claiming that PDT is eliminating illegal's only chance to apply for asylum. UR FakeNews 👍👍👍 drawandstrike Common sense is heresy for the left. They're using a LAW.....IMAGINE THAT! During a pandemic....closing borders? The insanity. And Thank god we don’t need more patients in the country as we shelter at home. A little common sense people. I expect this from CNN and MSNBC but yet again AP joins the political arena

This should be the standard practice. Our immigration laws are a joke. And what else is he quietly doing? He didn’t quietly do it! He announced it on tv! Auschwitz... are we there yet? lopezobrador_ por que permitir estas violaciones al derecho del migrante? BASTA DE PALABRAS, NECESITAMOS ACCIONES!! Good.

Good! DeportThemAll You guys used to be impartial and reported news. Now you highlight, cut and paste your narrative. I would say the you...THE PRESS.. is the biggest reason why Donald Trump is president of the United states. Good. Asylum isn’t meant for poverty or crime, it’s meant to protect those being targeted by their government. We have plenty of uneducated and unskilled citizens, we don’t need to import any more.

Awesome Awesome. drawandstrike Good. They are ILLEGAL ALIENS! drawandstrike Great news!! 👍🏼 👍🏼 That's awesome Criminal trespasser is not spelled m-I-g-r-a-n-t. drawandstrike It’s a law do quite bitching My country is doing it too. Great job. And the best is that European Human Rights Court ruled it as legal while the ppl were coming from countries where they could apply for asylum. In fact 98% actually illegal migrants from poor but safe countries, not refugees.

Why is enforcing the law a bad thing? Finally, some good news. TedCornwell Good. Estimated 22 million migrants in the United States. Why did the socialist democrats & Rino's never build a wall? Almost like it was a profitable business or something. I’m sure you’re fine with American citizens getting arrested for going to the beach though, amiright?

Hey Dan and this is supposed to be bad news!? More like this retweet gave away your politics.Fantastic news!🤔🤔 Americans can't come and go, so why would accept others in right now? Thank God Trump did. Excellent maggieNYT You have just soscibeeed Steve Miller’s role— he is the guy finding even more ways for Trump to be evil!!!

Baba9773 Good! Good that he is thank you realDonaldTrump Cry more. There are consequences for elections ! Go Trump This is the time to first take care of our people here Good job President Trump! Good. Fantastic Outstanding! Keep up the good work. Didn't AP have another story today praising NewZeland for immediately closing their borders and potentially saving thousands of lives? COVID19

HC_Richardson Just have to say I’d agree with any administration taking this step, if it was part of a comprehensive measure to test the American public, and therefore needing to shut off entry from outside. That however is not the point here. The point here is the usual idiocy. Asylum from what drawandstrike Wonderful!!!!

MagLandrace Good! Are you kidding me right now? Americans are dying and 10 percent have lost their jobs. realDonaldTrump still laser focused on his bigotry. The media is so broken they're trying to push open borders during a pandemic sweeping across America. The media is completely broken. THAT IS WHY YOU ARE FAKE FAKE NEWS PEOPLE

WARMGLASS Thank you President Trump. That's a great thing, and the dissociated press is the enemy of the people, so hopefully he would pull your press credentials and get you the hell off the national territory. The ultimate stay-at-home order. drawandstrike Hey AP - we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Priorities.

Good! This is the most disgusting deplorable president. tsartbot Good Good! They are much better off. The admin’s failure cost 16000 deaths and counting. 500000 infected. drawandstrike Fantastic! Pictured are illegal border crossers who can't apply for asylum anyway. Perfection! So your saying he followed the law...as usual.

Cry more Beautiful! No more Mexicans in america please! What's wrong with that? Nice to get some good news for a change. Thanks. Good. They are supposed to seek asylum at the embassy Great!!!!!! HHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Good. Oh Dear God! U.S. has a Raging Pandemic & they desperately keep others from contracting the disease! How cruel!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣

🇺🇸 America first deport them all Go out of business, rag So something good came out of this after all! Hahahahahahaha 👍👍👍 THANK GOD!! Have you NOT seen the video of Chinese immigrants stuffed in car dashboards trying to infiltrate U.S.? Apparently CNN doesn’t monitor the latest NEWS! Go figure! Good! We're in a global pandemic...the needs to be closed!

drawandstrike We have the BestPresidentEver, AP. WTP agree with strict border control. We’re not impressed by your pointless sob story. Our country needs to restore founding principles undermined by treacherous, evil & corrupt politicians, more of whom we will reject in 2020. CatchUp❗️ HOW WONDERFUL

Thank you, President Trump!! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 Whatever it takes. And I thought the AP only did negative stories on Trump. Who knew. Keep up the good work. It's a virus-spread crackdown: Trump has promised to protect Americans. That’s just one reason we love Trump. But we have the most cases of COVID, right? Why would they want to stay here?

Yeah! Stable genius So, you admit the law was enforced? How does it being obscure matter? Excellent Smart move could be carriers. Asylum hell they are not here legally, so why the hell should they get rewarded for breaking the law? If we entered into their country illegally what do you think would happen to us? I bet its much worse then how they get treated here. Come legally or not at all!

Perfect good Good Seek Asylum thru a hole. Hahahahahaha You're some clown Good. drawandstrike Winning drawandstrike The same people crying about how we don't have enough PPE, vents, saying how exhausted our front line medical workers are, want to bring MORE people in to the country who will inevitably get sick and will overrun our resources even more. The lack of self awareness is blinding

Good news! Awesome GOOD! One of the many reasons I voted for President Trump & will vote for him again... AmericaFirst PersisterCrone The trump administration is corrupt and criminal. Ccp m_ebrard ? maggieNYT Finally!!!!!!!!! Let’s go!!!!!! SeacoastEagle Finally our government putting America’s health above all else; thank you President Trump and the Trump Administration!

I see all the Doc’s , Nurses, everyday workers - our soldiers. They represent such an amazing cross section of what makes American. We are representing every race, every color, every ideology. We are straight we are gay. We lov America, lov one another. Together we defeat 🦠 maggieNYT This is what shutting a border down looks like. Asylum seekers can be carriers like anyone else.

Excellent!!! Yay! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👊👊👊👏👊 BEST PRESIDENT EVER! I LOVE OUT PRESIDENT! Trump2020LandslideVictory drawandstrike Well the law is the law so deal with it. MalcolmNance Inexcusable! If you disagree, you should leave, too! Go Trump! LongMaga Bc there's a process!! Running over the border isnt the process

kaci150 The democrat pandemic has consequences they didn’t figure on. They sure are stupid. Thank God for President Trump. GArchibaldCTV 😢😢😢 Mexico should follow China economic model. Bravo. Bravo. Bullshit this has been happening since Obama. Cmon! GEOTUS_POTUS good drawandstrike 👍🏻 drawandstrike Key word “law”.

Now is not the time to seek asylum. Border crossers run the risk of being shot dead by the general public at the moment. I’m sorry your situation is dire but Americans are hyper defensive rn. 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍 MalcolmNance The borders should be closed to all immigrants at this time. We have a little virus that is killing everyone and now is not the time to be accepting immigrants. They can wait until this is over, just like everyone else.

the heart-breaking reality is the US can't manage the volume of migrants seeking asylum from failed/corrupt govs. former asylum law gives a false sense of security to well-meaning migrants who want a better life only to enter into a new scenario of poverty once in the US MalcolmNance Illegal. Asylum is legal in our country. Stupid people.

Good Best President ever! So the executive branch used the laws as written by the legislative branch.... and? drawandstrike They are doing more than that with 'obscure' laws. Liberal tears inbound. Excellent! Perfect. Exactly why I voted for him. If WE have to be locked in our homes then so do they...IN MEXICO

what a PIG! rentonMagaUK Send them back, build the wall, no stimulus check. If you want things to be better in your country; fight a revolution there and make things better. Don't bring your BS here any longer. drawandstrike That's really great news! Thanks AP for turning a crappy day into a day with a little sunshine!!!!

drawandstrike This is awesome news! Good Good Best President Ever Fabulous! Perhaps Mexico will start taking their borders more seriously.! Translation he is keeping the democratic voters from getting into the country. drawandstrike Great!!! Good Job. Good! I hope he does this more! seek asylum at the official port of entry, then they will be fine

drawandstrike Good And if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and can now spread it further south, that’s ok with you all? maggieNYT Smart move realDonaldTrump, thanks for keeping Americans safe! Halli-fing-luya! Finally, the system is protecting the Americans who live here, which include natural born and immigrants, who did it the right way. It’s shocking when things go correctly. That tells you how far left we have allowed our country to go.

drawandstrike Promises kept 🤡 drawandstrike Thank you DJT! Fantastic! And America is cool with this! MAGA2020 maggieNYT Never let a crisis go to waste when there is so much need for degenerate vindictiveness. Justa47yearold2 drawandstrike Thank God for President Trump. Democrats would sell their souls to destroy America.

Good. maggieNYT Trump is diabolical. Please read Susan Glasser’s article in The New Yorker, “Coronavirus and How the US Ended Up with Nurses Wearing Garbage Bags”. drawandstrike Good Hire more agents for ICE, Finish the wall and then deport the rest of them back to where they came from.... drawandstrike Good!

drawandstrike IS AP part of the Satanist cabal org. Or China Democratic socialist party OR BOTH (THEM) VS. AMERICA And....? Whats the problem ? All travwl is on hold for anyway or didnt they get the memo? Stop making a huge deal out of a Sovereign Nation protecting its borders you commies Best President Ever! .. Always Doing His Best To Protect Our Country And Citizens .. Trump2020

Does it make you wonder why it became a law in the first place? This is super news! Good. Let them stay at your place or stop bitching about it. Good. Nice. When the pandemic is over. Keep it going. How evilgelical. And Is there a narrative you are trying to push? The President is enforcing a law. Well, that is certainly a change from the last president. msm sucks

Good for them!! This law shouldn't be so obscure, even after coronavirus has passed. drawandstrike THIS is the stuff we need. Keep up the good work! Tha is AP for finally printing a story that says good things about Trump. 👍 Tanks, Mr. President, Donald Trump!!! Sweet. That’s my POTUS.....see, cuz I’m an America citizen.

Nice!!! Great news! Awesome. Good I wish we had a leader like that in Canada instead of the joke we have! Puppet! Literally the only thing the Trump administration should be doing instead of this social garbage and of course it’s the only thing AP complains about. Finally! A heartwarming news story rentonMagaUK Good

Great They will fill US hospitals, if they are allowed thru borders. We know Trump saved lives by closing our borders during the pandemic. We are living in a state of emergency. Even the AP slants stories and it is not supposed to be biased. Great The left is so worried about not spreading the virus and staying quarantined. Unless of course it’s the border and illegal immigrants are involved because their well being far outweighs those of US citizens.

And another Dem mouthpiece showing they don't care if Americans live or die, only the political agenda matters. Great. drawandstrike Great news Were they here legally or illegally? If illegal, don't really see the issue. Why is it wrong to punish people that break the law? Want asylum, go about it the right way. Why is that wrong to expect?

Great news Good! drawandstrike In other words, we have a President with a damn backbone!! Good. Seek asylum in the first country you’re entering at their ports of entry...ONLY. We can’t take of our own, seek help elsewhere. FANTASTIC NEWS drawandstrike Good. drawandstrike America First there’s hundreds of other countries out there

obscure, justify, chance These are words used to paint illegal behavior as legal The enemy of the people drawandstrike Great job realDonaldTrump Outstanding. maggieNYT Corrupt and cruel. Watch what they do not want they say. Republicans are racist everyone of them. Wonderful news! Thanks! The only good thing about this outbreak.

Awsome So what’s wrong with that asshole drawandstrike This dude is pissed! drawandstrike Fantastic. drawandstrike Awesome! 👏🏽👏🏽 drawandstrike At least the virus was good for something drawandstrike drawandstrike Great! drawandstrike WINNING!!!! drawandstrike The Federal gov't is legally acting to protect Americans. Only the Democrat/media complex objects. (B/c it runs counter to their Chicom paymasters' commands).

And? drawandstrike Excellent. The asylum loophole is routinely abused. Wipe out the Cartels! Can we use our resources for Americans before we worry about those on the border. We can’t even test everyone in our own country and yet you want to let more people in. WTF get your priorities straight! Awesome.

Excellent! Good drawandstrike Good i don’t understand why those seeking asylum won’t wait another 8-9 months.. they already know what’s in store for them at our border, now. they’ll be safer & happier here once trump is gone... PuppyResists they're probably better off - usa sucks right now Hopefully he keeps it up after the pandemic too.

Awesome! More winning and return to the rule of law! Thank you, Mr. President! Great! I am sure it is helping keep Americans healthy. In otherwords, this administration is exploiting this pandemic as an excuse to violate the rights of asylum seekers and force them into life-threatening danger? Thank you President 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

Awesome! Keep the good work! What’s the problem? GOOD!! GREAT JOB!! We don't have time right now to deal with the added hassel, and expense of people breaking the law. Check back when we're healthy. National Emergency. America is closed That is what laws are for to protect legal citizens. maggieNYT About time!!! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

Good. This should be the case even when we aren’t in a pandemic. Rahm Emanuel playbook: Never let a crisis go to waste. May God safeguards American people from such an inhuman leader. Good. The Associated Press piles one terrifying and unacceptable distraction on the other. None of this has anything to do with the American People getting a new functional government and a reliable source of information.

Oh no And? I want Biden to continue to rail against borders and guns...wont hear a peep. Exactly the right thing to do. Thank you President Trump. More blood on his hands! EVIL! Meanwhile United States citizens are being arrested no questions asked for being at the ocean with no ability to seek asylum Social distancing of 10 miles? Sounds good.

The absolutely right call in today's world. Thank God Good.

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Florida travelers with coronavirus visited 46 U.S. states, 75 foreign destinations before diagnosisNew York was by far the top U.S. destination for Florida travelers. Spain was the top foreign destination. Italy didn't even make the top 10. TyphoidTrumps army of death. Florida was so ignorant in responding to covid-19. The college/ uni kids that refused to believe there would be a crisis and partied. You have all been failed by Trump and by your own state government for not taking measures. But you all could have taken care of each other! Fluck Forida.

Coronavirus live updates: US may investigate WHO's handling of pandemicEven as Spain reported another uptick in infections and fatalities today, the Spanish government announced plans to gradually ease lockdown measures across the country. Prayers CoronavirusPandemic You keep comparing the deaths to 9/11 does that mean you think this is an act of terrorism? Which 911 was! 400 people dead in Canada with a population of 35 million. 14,000 dead in the US with a population of 350 million. Trump and the US are FAILING badly.

ABC News: US intelligence warned of China's spreading contagion in NovemberUS intelligence officials were warning as far back as late November that the novel coronavirus was spreading through China's Wuhan region and posing a threat to its people and daily life, according to ABC News. Hold Trump and his sycophants accountable.. doudt wut If true.. don’t these things take time to vet out and verify? China refused our help and attempt to investigate. Bottom line though, we need to be better prepared and stockpile the heck out of emergency response equipment and supplies.

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