U.S. Asylum-Seekers

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A Trump administration program forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico has evolved into a sweeping rejection of all forms of migrants, with both countries quietly working to keep people out of the U.S. despite threats to the migrants’ safety. The results serve the goals of both governments, which have targeted unauthorized migration at the behest of President Donald Trump, who threatened Mexico with potentially crippling tariffs earlier this year to force action. Some people sent to wait in the Mexican border cities of Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros said they never requested asylum, including Wilfredo Alvarez, a laborer from Honduras. He crossed the Rio Grande without permission to look for work to support his seven children and was unexpectedly put into the program. He was sent back to Mexico with a future court date. “We thought that if they caught us, they would deport us to our country, but it was not that way,” Alvarez said. “They threw us away here to Mexico, but we are not from here and it’s very difficult.” Others said they were never asked if they feared persecution in Mexico, despite U.S. government rules that say migrants should not be sent there if they face that risk. U.S. border agents give each returned migrant a date for an immigration court hearing at tents set up near the border. But the Mexican government has bused hundreds of migrants to cities around 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away, ostensibly for their safety. And there’s no promise that Mexico…

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