Sunday, May 19, 2024

Trump Administration making asylum harder for caravan, wants them to wait in Mexico.

For the past several months, the Trump administration has attempted to deter asylum seekers from crossing the US border, and its only plan to deal with the problem is to force them to remain in Mexico even longer.

During the weeks that caravan members have waited in Tijuana, they haven’t been in conditions that seem sustainable or survivable — for a months-long wait. The first temporary facility for caravan members, a sports complex, was overcrowded and unsanitary; families struggled to find enough clean water to dissolve packets of powdered milk for their kids.

When it flooded last week, the complex became unlivable. Over the weekend, Mexican officials moved thousands of caravan members to a better facility, a 15-minute drive from the border, but many of the caravan members haven’t relocated there — either because they’d already dispersed or because they didn’t trust the Mexican government.

Even in a better facility, some asylum seekers have decided they can’t wait. Some are despondent about the prospect of being able to feed their children enough with the food they get in Tijuana or feeding families back home on the money they might earn temporarily in Mexico.

The Trump administration is currently fighting in court to reinstate its asylum ban, which a federal judge put that ban put on hold after nine days, in part because the judge blamed the US for making it so difficult for asylum seekers to cross legally. So for now, asylum seekers have an alternative to waiting in Mexico for months.

However, they may not have a choice much longer.  Trump administration is working with the new Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a policy called “Remain in Mexico” that would force Central American asylum seekers to go back and wait in Mexico for months while the claim was processed.