Before President Donald Trump implemented the "Remain in Mexico" policy, technically known as Migrant Protection Protocols, migrants who requested asylum in the U.S. would be processed and then often released, where many would disappear to begin living a life in the shadows.
But under Trump's policy — which recently expanded — migrants are returned to Mexico while U.S. authorities process their asylum claims. The policy is the Trump administration's response to the problems they believe are caused by "catch and release."
New data from the Department of Homeland Security suggest Trump's policy is working, as thousands of migrants have abandoned illegitimate asylum claims and returned home to their country of origin.
From Fox News:
So far, the administration has returned more than 55,000 migrants to Mexico. The assessment describes the policy as an "indispensable tool in addressing the ongoing crisis at the southern border and restoring integrity to the immigration system." It says that it has completed almost 13,000 cases as of Oct. 21.
The new assessment, significantly, cites estimates from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that approximately 20,000 migrants are currently being sheltered in Mexico near the U.S. border as they still seek entry to the U.S. The assessment says that number, though, suggests "a significant proportion of the 55,000+ MPP returnees have chosen to abandon their claims."
Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan has described the policy as a "game changer," proving that migrants without legitimate asylum claims will return home once they realize they will not be released into the U.S.
"We're now sending the message that, if you're coming here as an economic migrant, you're not going to be allowed into the United States. That's driving a lot of people to return," Morgan said last month.
Not only has the policy forced migrants with illegitimate asylum requests to return home, but it has streamlined the asylum process, the DHS said in its assessment of the policy.
"MPP returnees with meritorious claims can be granted relief or protection within months, rather than remaining in limbo for years while awaiting immigration court proceedings in the United States," the assessment determined, Fox News reported.