Many people in Florida and across the country are concerned about asylum seekers facing new restrictions imposed by the Trump administration at the southern border. There are currently thousands of migrants, mostly from Central America, near the border in Tijuana and elsewhere, and the administration wants to force them to remain in Mexico until their asylum claims are completed. However, refugee rights advocates have highlighted the potential abuse that these migrants may face.
One migrant justice advocate noted that areas near ports of entry to the United States are frequently under the control of cartels. Asylum seekers have experienced kidnappings for ransom, human trafficking and other threats in these areas. One woman from Guatemala who fled a violent gang noted her own experience in Mexico while seeking to flee to the United States. The bus she was on with other migrants was stopped by masked, armed men who demanded their identification before ransoming them to their families. The woman’s family in Guatemala paid $3,000 for her release.
Now, border officials have placed limitations on the number of people who can make asylum claims at southern border ports of entry. The waiting time can extend to weeks or months, and the Trump administration is seeking to extend that time further by forcing asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases proceed in the U.S. courts. However, migrant rights advocates said that the asylum seekers are being exposed to a continuing dangerous environment as a political maneuver to bolster the administration’s “tough” policy on immigration.
People who are dealing with the immigration system may be concerned about how their own cases are affected by the political rhetoric around migration. An immigration lawyer may be able to help people seek asylum in the United States, defend against deportation attempts and work to remain in the country.