Remember when officials claimed they couldn’t process asylum seekers because of their capacity? That was a lie

Remember when officials claimed they couldn’t process asylum seekers because of their capacity?  That was a lie

The research work of Moore and El Paso Matters confirms what proponents like Annunciation House founder Ruben Garcia had long believed, but failed to prove outright. “We knew, we knew, we knew” [that the capacity explanation was untrue], and there was nothing we could do about it,” he told El Paso Matters.

In a June 2018 example, the report stated that a border official rejected three Guatemalan asylum seekers, despite the fact that they were clearly capable of processing them. “Right now we can’t process them,” he told Annunciation House representatives. “This is rural, as I’m sure you know. We are at capacity.” In reality, “about 60 people were held in CBP cells on the El Paso-Juárez border, and more than 200 waiting areas for processing migrants were empty, an investigator would later discover while preparing a report for a lawsuit that overturned the legality of the crime. returning asylum seekers was challenged at the border,” reported El Paso Matters.

“Eventually, the three Guatemalans were allowed to go to the port of entry to process their asylum applications, largely because they had stepped past the CBP officers at the border line and were on US soil,” the report continued. But we already knew that officials lied about measuring, and that the lies came from the top.

While the former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen Cput under oath to Congress that it had taken no action to reduce CBP’s ability to process asylum seekers at ports of entry, a report from the DHS Inspector General confirmed last year that this was a lie. “On June 5, 2018, Nielsen signed a memo authorizing port directors to make meters at official border crossings,” BuzzFeed News reported in 2020. “The memo also authorized port directors to reassign staff members away from processing undocumented immigrants. .”

“While measurement is most associated with the Trump administration, the first use of the tactic came in May 2016,” reported El Paso Matters under the Obama administration. The practice was initially used to send Haitian migrants away, once again shedding much-needed light on the extraordinary abuses they face under the US immigration system. Last month, a federal judge ruled that: Measuring asylum seekers at US borders is illegal, Reuters reported.

“@CBP lied and people died, and their deaths could have been prevented if (DHS) agents hadn’t instructed officers to disregard US federal law,” Nicole Ramos, director of Al Otro Lado’s Border Rights Project tweeted.


I had previously noticed how quickly border officials’ excuses crashed and burned when cornered in unique situations. Back in July 2019, border oofficials were determined to block a pregnant asylum seeker and her family, initially claiming to them, “We are full,” The Washington Post reported at the time. These agents were so eager to break US asylum that they hadn’t even noticed that Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and his staff were behind the family after meeting them while visiting a Mexican shelter. A supervisor was called and a few minutes later the family was allowed on.

“I have every confidence that if the family had tried to present on their own, they would not have been admitted,” said immigration attorney Taylor Levy. The mail at the time.

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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