The Bukele administration in El Salvador launched Border Patrol efforts soon after signing a “security agreement” with the US Secretary for Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan. Screenshot from @elsalvadorcom via Twitter.
September 17, 2019 –A recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court clears the way for the Trump Administration to further restrict asylum by applying a new rule, that had previously been blocked by lower courts. The rule requires migrants entering from the US southern border to first pursue asylum in a transit country, and have that application rejected, prior to seeking protection in the U.S. This means that the United States can no longer be a first country of asylum for individuals and families fleeing violence. The Supreme Court’s decision will significantly impact asylum processes in Mexico and Central America as the number of applications soars. The ruling will have severe repercussions considering that neither Mexico nor Central America can offer safe or stable conditions for asylum seekers. As the U.S. government essentially dumps its asylum responsibilities onto Mexico, the consequences will be dire. Mexico’s asylum system is already overwhelmed and lacks the capacity to process the expected surge in applications: 12,000 of the 37,612 asylum cases currently being processed by COMAR, Mexico’s refugee agency, are currently in suspension or other legal limbo. COMAR officials have already warned that the federal budget allocated for 2020 will not be sufficient to address the country’s new reality.