Friday, April 3, 2020
A child’s hands are washed on March 20 at an encampment in Matamoros, Mexico, of more than 2,000 migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. as local authorities prepare to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
Dara Lind for ProPublica reports that for the first time since the enactment of the Refugee Act in 1980, people who come to the U.S. saying they fear persecution in their home countries are being turned away by Border Patrol officers without a chance to seek asylum in the United States.
The shift, confirmed in internal Border Patrol guidance obtained by ProPublica, is the upshot of the Trump administration’s emergency action to largely shut down the U.S.-Mexico border over coronavirus fears.
The Trump administration has created numerous obstacles over recent years for migrants to seek asylum in the United States. But it had not — until now — allowed Border Patrol agents to simply expel migrants with no process whatsoever for hearing their claims.