Border Arrests Fall 40% After Biden’s Asylum Halt; Mexico Sees Increased Deportations

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The number of border arrests has dropped by 40% since President Joe Biden’s executive order suspended asylum processing at the US-Mexico border when daily arrests reach 2,500. However, this policy shift is having a disproportionate impact on Mexican nationals, who are being deported in larger numbers.

Mexicans accounted for 38% of border arrests in May, down from 85% in 2011 but still the highest nationality by far. The Border Patrol’s Tucson sector has been the busiest corridor for illegal crossings, with nearly three out of every four arrests in May involving Mexicans.

Under Biden’s asylum halt, migrants who are apprehended at the border must be screened to determine if they have a credible fear of persecution or torture. Those who fail this screening can be deported back to their home country. However, many Mexican nationals are expressing frustration and disillusionment with the process, as they feel that they are being treated unfairly compared to migrants from other countries.

Ana Ruiz, 35, was among those recently deported back to Mexico after attempting to cross the border. She said that she was dismayed by the contrast between how migrants from some countries were being treated versus Mexicans. “They’re giving priority to other countries,” she said.

The asylum halt is not limited to any specific nationality, but it has been more effective in reducing arrests for Mexican nationals, who are among the most susceptible to deportation. This is due in part to Mexico’s agreement to accept deported citizens from the US, as well as the country’s relatively easier logistics and diplomatic ties with the US.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas acknowledged that some countries are more difficult to deport from than others. “The reality is that it is easier to remove individuals to certain countries than other countries,” he said. “We do remove individuals to Senegal, we do remove individuals to Colombia, we do remove individuals to India. It can be more difficult.”

As a result of the asylum halt and increased deportation efforts, many Mexicans are choosing to avoid capture altogether, rather than risking being turned back at the border. Francisco Loureiro, director of the San Juan Bosco migrant shelter in Nogales, Mexico, reported that the number of deported migrants has doubled since Biden’s executive order took effect.

Meanwhile, some Mexican nationals who have been deported from the US are expressing frustration and anger over their treatment. Anahi Sandoval, 30, said her failure screening unprompt. “The Colombians get a pass but not the Mexicans.”

Source: FastCompany