When asylum seekers could be sent to Mexico, what changes to the policy are coming - FOX 9's Adem Klepp reporting
YUMA, Ariz. (KECY, KYMA) - The U.S. and Mexican governments have agreed to once again send asylum seekers to Mexico as they await their court hearings.
Monday, December 6, is the first day the government plans to send asylum seekers back. For now, it'll only be at one port of entry, likely in San Diego or Texas.
President Joe Biden’s version of this policy comes with a few key changes. It was something the President campaigned against, and in a tweet called "inhumane."
Under President Biden's version, migrants will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine before being returned to Mexico.
The U.S. will also attempt to complete all hearings within 180 days. Migrants who express fear about being returned to Mexico will meet with an immigration official to discuss their case.
Despite the changes, Ian Philabaum, a program director with the Innovation Law Lab, which advocates for immigrant rights, says any return to remain in Mexico is inhumane.
“There is zero reason, why we should have any faith, that MPP 2.0 is going to look any different than MPP 1.0. It is so disheartening that the Biden administration would go back on its word,” Philabaum shared.
In recent visits to the Yuma sector border, Republican senators have called for the reinstatement of this policy.
“We went from the most controlled border in December of 2020, to all-time highs because they canceled the remain in Mexico policy,” Senator Lindsey Graham said.
Senator Rick Scott from Florida visited the border last week.
“There is a legal process to come into this country, they need to follow the legal process to come into this country,” Scott clarified.
The U.S. waited for Mexican approval to return asylum seekers, but already struggling shelters could be the ones bearing the brunt of the policy as some tell FOX 9 the Mexican government is not assisting them.
Carlos Mejia from the Hijo Prodigo shelter in Mexicali says the government even shut off their electricity.
“The migrants, who work outside of here, charge their cellphones to use the light at night. We are affected without this service," Mejia said.