Trump Administration and Mexico May Have Just Reached a New Asylum Deal

“Any policy that would leave individuals stranded in Mexico would inevitably put people in danger.”

Migrants seeking asylum in the US sleep in tents near the borderOmar Martinez/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

Update, 11/25/18 12pm: Following the Washington Post story on Saturday reporting the Trump administration’s deal with Mexico, additional reports have surfaced in which Mexican government officials deny an agreement has been reached. The New York Times reports officials of Mexico’s incoming administration are still considering a potential asylum deal and may meet as early as Sunday to discuss its terms.

On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that the White House has struck a preliminary deal with the president-elect of Mexico that would force migrants seeking refugee in the United States to wait in Mexico while the US government processes their claims.

No formal agreement has been signed, but if it does become official, the new arrangement would end current asylum rules that allow migrants to wait inside the United States before their hearings. Under this new plan, asylum seekers who were denied entry by a US judge would not be returned to Mexico. Instead, they would be detained in the United States and face immediate deportation to their home countries.

After spending weeks fear-mongering about a caravan of migrants making its way through Mexico to the United States, Trump signed an order that barred migrants from receiving asylum for 90 days if they crossed the border illegally. The order was quickly challenged in the courts and less than two weeks later, a federal judge blocked Trump’s asylum ban

As my colleague Noah Lanard reported:

Jon Tigar, a district court judge in California, ruled that Trump’s asylum ban “irreconcilably conflicts” with immigration law and the “expressed intent of Congress.” He wrote that the ban puts asylum-seekers at increased risk of violence and will cause many people with valid asylum claims to be ineligible for protection. Tigar’s ruling blocks the asylum ban temporarily, until the case is heard again next month. His temporary restraining order took effect immediately and came just 12 hours after he heard arguments from both sides.

The Mexican government is calling the tentative arrangement a “short-term solution” while human rights activists and other advocates are troubled by the prospect of leaving people in the Mexican border states that are dominated by drug cartels. “We have not seen a specific proposal,” Lee Gelernt, an ACLU lawyer told the Washington Post, “but any policy that would leave individuals stranded in Mexico would inevitably put people in danger.”

WE'RE TAKING A SHORT BREAK…

from the big banner at the top of our pages asking for the donations that make Mother Jones' nonprofit journalism possible. But we still have upwards of $300,000 to raise by June 30, whether we get there is going to come down to the wire, and we can't afford to come up short.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please join your fellow readers who pitch in from time to time to keep our democracy-advancing, justice-seeking journalism charging hard (and to help us avoid a real budget crunch as June 30 approaches and our fiscal year ends).

payment methods

WE'RE TAKING A SHORT BREAK…

from the big banner at the top of our pages asking for the donations that make Mother Jones' nonprofit journalism possible. But we still have upwards of $300,000 to raise by June 30, whether we get there is going to come down to the wire, and we can't afford to come up short.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please join your fellow readers who pitch in from time to time to keep our democracy-advancing, justice-seeking journalism charging hard (and to help us avoid a real budget crunch as June 30 approaches and our fiscal year ends).

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate