Refugees in U.S. fearful they'll be deported after Migrant Protection Protocol goes into effect

Posted at 10:10 AM, Jan 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-27 10:10:17-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Refugees in the United States are confused and concerned after Mexican authorities posted a video to Facebook saying in part the U.S. plans to deport 20 people a day under the Migrant Protection Protocol.

The refugees who could be affected waited for their credible fear interview, were validated, given a court date, and allowed into the US. "It's creating a lot of fear and distrust because they think they're finally going to have their asylum hearing come up in six months," Founder of Border Angels, a non-profit supporting migrants, Enrique Morones said. He explained refugees have waited months and sometimes years to get to this point in the process only to be faced with the possibility of being kicked out of the country to wait in Mexico for the duration of the proceedings.

READ RELATED: DHS issues statement saying asylum seekers will wait in Mexico throughout the process

The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement Thursday saying the MPP would be implemented Friday. The protocols say, "Aliens will not be permitted to disappear into the U.S. before a court issues a final decision on whether they will be admitted and provided protection under U.S. law. Instead, they will await a determination in Mexico and receive appropriate humanitarian protections there. This will allow DHS to more effectively assist legitimate asylum-seekers and individuals fleeing persecution, as migrants with non-meritorious or even fraudulent claims will no longer have an incentive for making the journey. Moreover, MPP will reduce the extraordinary strain on our border security and immigration system, freeing up personnel and resources to better protect our sovereignty and the rule of law by restoring integrity to the American immigration system."

Morones said many are already condemning the actions of President Donald Trump as well as DHS.

Al Otro Lado , an organization supporting migrants' rights, tweeted the deportations have not happened yet, "We did not record any turn-backs... Unclear why the 20 families were not returned as planned."

Another concern Morones has is the migrants waiting in Mexico. Under the MPP all asylum seekers will wait in Mexico throughout the process. He said volunteers under his organization were in Tijuana Saturday conducting interviews with migrants finding out how they feel about the protocol.

"It seems like it's a run and shoot type of a decision by Trump. He doesn't really have the experience, he doesn't process it, talk to the experts," Morones says he believes it won't last long. "The new Congress being in place, with the Democrats, I think this policy is going to be reviewed, and I would not be surprised if it was not overturned."

The Mexican officials in the Facebook video also said they are not in alignment with the measures the U.S. is implementing.