US Attorney General Bill Barr ruled on Monday that migrants claiming to be family members of people being targeted by gangs is not enough to qualify them for asylum. Barr’s ruling will likely block tens of thousands of people seeking asylum based on family ties.
UPDATE: This can be a true game-changer
On the surface, it’s hard to overstate the importance of the third-party asylum deal the president signed with the Guatemalan government in the Oval Office on Friday.
Geographically, Guatemala is the choke point for all migration coming north. Anyone from the other countries in Central and South America, as well as from Africa, Haiti, and Cuba, ultimately come through Guatemala before pressing on to Mexico.
Once this deal is fully implemented, in August, according to DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan, all these migrants except those from Guatemala will be ineligible to seek asylum in America. While the Central American migrants were overwhelmingly from Guatemala at the start of this crisis in 2018, in recent months there have been almost twice as many from Honduras. Thus, fully enforcing the requirement to first seek asylum in Guatemala will shut off most of the migration.
“There is a big difference between waiting in Boston for your case and waiting in Mexicali or Monterrey.” Mexico is offering migrants the choice of waiting around for their court dates in the rough towns just south of the border or a free bus ride farther south. Many are choosing the bus, having realized that their attempts to game the system aren’t working out as planned"
Franklin Lopez, 44, came to the U.S. border with his 8-year-old daughter and dreams of getting some new work tools he could bring back to Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua.
“We all came with the illusion that with a child you could get through, and unfortunately they reached the limit,” Lopez said. Now he’s headed home $8,000 lighter — $4,000 of it in the hands of a coyote who left him stranded in Guatemala, and $4,000 to get across the U.S. border only to get sent back to Mexico a few days later.
The official name for the “remain in Mexico” initiative is Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Thousands of migrants have gone back to Mexico under MPP (more than 10,000 to Juarez alone)