Published: Wed, October 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Asylum Seekers Cross Border With Julián Castro, but Not for Long

Asylum Seekers Cross Border With Julián Castro, but Not for Long

Former San Antonio mayor and presidential candidate Julian Castro traveled to Matamoros, Mexico, and crossed back into Brownsville with a group of asylum-seekers.

Several of the asylum seekers told The Los Angeles Times of how they had been threatened and intimidated for being gay, while one asylum seeker, Melisa, a 27-year-old from Honduras, said she had been struck by a stranger while simply standing outside a pharmacy and talking with friends. Castro says his main goal is to provide help to a group of migrants, majority from the LGBTQ community.

"Ten years in detention is better than a day here", said Dany, 22, a lesbian who fled Cuba with her partner and asked, like the others, to be identified by only her first name since her immigration case was pending.

Noting that vulnerable cases should be excluded from the Remain in Mexico policy, Castro said that "by law, these migrants are supposed to be exempt from the Remain in Mexico policy-but [Customs and Border Protection] had chose to ignore their due process".

"We presented them to these border agents and said that they should not be ... they should not be in Mexico", Castro said.

Frustrated with the legal process, President Donald Trump resorted to putting direct pressure on Mexico.

More than 42,000 people have been returned to Mexico since MPP took effect in January.

However, the migrants were returned to Mexico to await their hearing there.

The surge came mainly from Central American migrants fleeing poverty and violence, crossing in large groups and family units into the U.S. from Mexico and turning themselves in to ask for asylum. "You have no notice that you should even be talking about your fear of return to Mexico". Among them was a migrant with a physical disability accompanied by family members, and members of the LGBTQ community who have been persecuted, subjected to violence and are experiencing trauma, he said. "These 12 people have been in CBP custody for 3 hours, which means that each person had less than 15 minutes for their non-refoulement interviews", the Texas Civil Rights Project said.

Morgan was effusive in his praise for the Mexican government's efforts to help the Trump administration deter migrants.

The administration has ordered the expulsion of any asylum seekers back to Mexico, and is fighting a court injunction blocking the implementation of that order.

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