Jan. 24, 2019
Edward Sifuentes
(619) 501-3408

ACLU Border Rights Center statement on pilot program stranding asylum seekers in Mexico

SAN DIEGO — Today, the Trump administration announced plans to leave asylum-seekers stranded on the Mexican side of the border while it processes their claims for protection in the United States.

Norma Chávez-Peterson, Executive Director of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, had this reaction:

“Forcing asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed is just the latest of the Trump administration's cruelly anti-immigrant tactics that are fundamentally at odds with our values and our nation’s commitment to provide refuge to people fleeing violence and persecution. Over the past several weeks, the Department of Homeland Security has been abandoning vulnerable asylum-seeking families on the streets of San Diego at the rate of up to 100 people a day. Now, it wants to prevent them from remaining in U.S. to await their scheduled asylum hearings. This new tactic exacerbates the already unacceptable circumstances the Trump administration has created for thousands of other migrants by illegally rejecting asylum seekers at our ports of entry.

Astrid Dominguez, Director of the ACLU Border Rights Center, had this reaction:

“Returning these families, many with children, to Mexico offends due process and endangers lives. People fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries have a legal, human right to seek asylum in the United States, including at the San Ysidro, California port of entry, where this pilot program will take place. Denying asylum seekers this right strains Mexican border cities, jeopardizes the health and safety of vulnerable populations, and further exemplifies the Trump administration's racist and inhumane approach to our border. The crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border was created by President Trump and he is intentionally doubling down.