U.S. to Start Returning Some Asylum Seekers to Mexico

January 25, 2019, 8:19 PM UTC

The Trump Administration plans to start returning some asylum-seeking migrants to Mexico while they await their U.S. immigration court hearings, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The program, announced on Friday, will start at the border in San Diego. There, some migrants seeking asylum will be turned away after being given a notice for an immigration court date, likely a month in the future.

The Trump Administration hasn’t provided any specific numbers for how many asylum seekers will be admitted into the U.S. or how many will be sent back to Mexico while awaiting their hearings.

The migrants seeking asylum are primarily from Central America. In December, Mexico said it would offer them humanitarian visas that allow them to work and live in Mexico while awaiting their U.S. hearings.

Other than in San Diego, U.S. policy will be unchanged at other legal crossings, at least for now. It also won’t impact those who enter the country illegally.

Previously, President Trump had wanted to automatically reject asylum claims from migrants that entered the country illegally. However, the Supreme Court blocked him from doing so.