World Media

US Apprehensions on Southern Border Drop for Fourth Consecutive Month - Commissioner

Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan speaks during a briefing at the White House Tuesday Oct. 8 2019 in Washington

On Monday, Castro crossed into Matamoros, Mexico, to meet with a dozen asylum seekers who have been waiting there under the Trump administration's Migrant Protection Protocols policy, also known as Remain in Mexico.

"All had earlier tried to cross here with a lawyer after being returned to Mexico to await court hearings, and all had been sent back by U.S. Customs officers", writes Molly Hennessy-Fiske of the LAT.

Castro walked with the group and their lawyers, along with a deaf woman and her three relatives, across the global bridge and asked Customs and Border Protection to allow them in, claiming an exemption to the MPP because of their status.

"By law, these migrants are supposed to be exempt from the Remain in Mexico policy - but CBP had made a decision to ignore their due process". US President Donald Trump called the surge of arrivals a crisis and declared a national emergency in February to secure funds to build a wall on the border with Mexico. It was later revealed they had been sent back to wait for their cases to be processed.

Like thousands of others, the 12 asylum seekers had been forced to wait in Mexico under the Trump administration's controversial Remain in Mexico policy, which forces migrants to wait south of the border as their USA asylum claims are processed.

According to Human Rights First, as many as 340 violent attacks, including instances of kidnapping, rape and torture, were reported just last month among asylum seekers forced to return to Mexico under the policy.

The 12 were returned to Mexico several hours later.

The surge came mainly from Central American migrants fleeing poverty and violence, crossing in large groups and family units into the USA from Mexico and turning themselves in to ask for asylum.

The group consisted of 12 LGBTQ migrants and a migrant who is deaf. The series of diplomatic agreements, which have yet to be implemented, would allow the reroute asylum seekers from across the world to these countries and have them seek refuge there - despite the rampant violence and poverty in many parts of this region.

Morgan says the administration's strategies have brought about results.

The Texas Civil Rights Project asserted that its clients were in CBP custody for a total of three hours, "which means that each person had less than 15 minutes for their non-refoulement interviews".