The US Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, said on Friday that the United States will not accept the asylum application of those migrants who are illegally entering the country through the Mexico border effective from May 11, 2023.
In the recent past, many Afghan refugees have taken this route and entered the United States and Canada, and have applied for asylum certificates.
As per the new rule, refugees from any country they pass through on their way to the US should apply for asylum there. If they enter the United States, they will not qualify for asylum and will be dealt with accordingly.
This initiative was part of President Biden’s election campaign, which promised to prevent the influx of illegal migration to the United States.
Following the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in August 2021, and the deteriorating humanitarian situation, scores of Afghans moved to Brazil on humanitarian visas. From Brazil, they take a long risky route all the way to Mexico and eventually enter the US and Canada.
Meanwhile, the US and Mexican officials have agreed on new immigration policies meant to deter illegal border crossings while also opening up other pathways ahead of an expected increase in migrants following the end of pandemic restrictions.
Mexico plays a critical role in helping the US to clamp down its southern border and prevent the entry of illegal migrants to the United States.
It is reported that migrants as far away as Haiti and Brazil are making the trek on foot up through Mexico, and are not easily returned back to their home countries.