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US says asylum seekers to be sent back to Mexico for duration of immigration proceedings

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Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced Thursday that the United States has told Mexico that individuals entering the US illegally or entering without proper documentation and seek asylum will be sent to Mexico to wait for the duration of their US immigration proceedings.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, individuals entering illegally or without proper documentation “trying to enter the US to claim asylum will no longer be released into our country, where they often disappear before a court can determine their claim’s merits.”

They will instead “be processed by DHS and given a ‘Notice to Appear’ for their immigration court hearing.”

Nielsen said they will be sent to Mexico to wait, vowing “‘Catch and release’ will be replaced with ‘catch and return.'”

Nielsen is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee later Thursday.

Nielsen said “They will have to wait for approval to come into the United States. If they are granted asylum by a U.S. judge, they will be welcomed into America. If they are not, they will be removed to their home countries.”

She said the US expects “affected migrants will receive humanitarian visas to stay on Mexican soil, they will be given the ability to apply for work, and be given other protections while they await a US legal determination.”

The US, she said, is taking this step in an effort to reduce illegal border crossings.

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