US to send asylum seekers back to Mexico as they await requests

FILE PHOTO: Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, queue for aid in a shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

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WASHINGTON D, C, United States of America

The Trump administration has said that it will soon send non-Mexican asylum seekers who cross the US southern border back to wait in Mexico while their requests are processed.

The move was immediately denounced by Immigrant advocates and human rights groups as illegal and violating the rights of refugees.

In response, the Mexican government said that it would accept some of those who are waiting for humanitarian reasons.

“We want to discourage those who are claiming asylum fraudulently,” said US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Mexico’s foreign ministry underscoredthat it still has the right to admit or reject the entry of foreigners into its territory.

“Mexico’s government has decided to take the following actions to benefit migrants, in particular, unaccompanied and accompanied minors, and to protect the rights of those who want to start an asylum process in the United States,” the foreign ministry said.

It added that actions taken by the Mexican and US governments do not constitute a “safe third country” scheme, where migrants would have to request US asylum while in Mexico.