Home > Press Releases > Immigration Equality Statement on DHS Plan to Force Asylum Seekers to Wait in Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2018

Contact:
Spencer Tilger, Public Affairs Manager, Immigration Equality
communications@immigrationequality.org / 917-654-8994

Immigration Equality Statement on DHS Plan to Force Asylum Seekers to Wait in Mexico

NEW YORK, NY — Today, following the announcement by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen that asylum seekers who present themselves at the U.S.-Mexico border will not be allowed to stay in the United States for the duration of their immigration proceedings, Immigration Equality’s Executive Director Aaron C. Morris released the following statement:

The Trump Administration’s new plan forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are pending is illegal and in blatant violation of the laws put in place by Congress. Moreover, it puts LGBTQ asylum seekers in grave danger. They face persecution every step of their journey and cannot safely wait in Mexico for months or even years.  In 2017, a shelter for transgender migrants was set on fire, and we continually receive reports that LGBTQ asylum seekers in Mexico, including those currently part of the caravan stranded in Tijuana, are being targeted for violence.

“The Trump administration has no plan for how to keep asylum seekers safe while their cases are evaluated. Nor does the Administration offer any guidance on how the plan will be implemented, such as, when and where their cases will be adjudicated and how asylum seekers will access counsel.  While the Administration has stated that asylum seekers who are not safe in Mexico will be allowed to enter the United States, the Administration offers no guidance on how such a determination will be made, leaving the most vulnerable at grave risk.

“Seeking asylum is legal and the U.S. has always prided itself on being a safe haven for those fleeing persecution. The President does not have the power to rewrite the country’s asylum laws, and Immigration Equality will fight to ensure asylum seekers receive the protection they deserve.”

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Immigration Equality is the nation’s leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization. We represent and advocate for people from around the world fleeing violence, abuse, and persecution because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status. Our legal team has won asylum for more than 1000 LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants while maintaining a 99% success rate.