SAN DIEGO – Twenty-four undocumented immigrants climbed over the border fence by Border Field State Park at the San Diego/Tijuana port of entry on Tuesday just after 4 p.m. Border Patrol agents apprehended 18 men and six women minutes after they crossed into the U.S.
23 individuals were from Honduras and one was from Guatemala.
This large group of immigrants crossing comes on the heel of the Trump administration’s new policy to enforce asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases go through the U.S. immigration courts.
On Tuesday, a handful of asylum seekers had their first immigration hearings before a San Diego Judge.
What is the new policy for asylum seekers?
The new policy recently implemented by the Trump administration is known as the Migrant Protection Protocols. The program, designed by the Homeland Security Department will send asylum seekers back to Mexico as they wait for their immigration court proceedings. Prior to this program, asylum seekers were allowed to stay in the U.S. for years as their immigration court case proceeding through the proper channels. If their status is granted, they can be brought into the U.S.
This week, DHS confirmed an overall 240 people were sent back to Mexico as they waited for their asylum status to be properly processed. The policy has been implemented in the San Ysidro port of entry (San Diego) and will expand to Calexico (Southern California).
While DHS has shown the benefits of the MPP program through increase of undocumented immigrant border statistics, opposition groups are pushing back. Advocacy groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU have stated the policy violates the rights of asylum-seekers. The ACLU and other immigration/human rights advocacy groups are suing the federal government to stop the program.
Marissa Martinez is a political contributor for Accuracy in Media. She is the former political director to Massachusetts Governor’s re-election campaign, alumna of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and political consultant to national PACs.