Washington, November 25: US President Donald Trump has said migrants at the southern border will not be allowed into America until a court approves their claims individually.
Trump's comments came in the wake of a caravan of people -- mostly from three Latin American countries El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras -- inching closer to the US-Mexico border with the intention of illegally entering America, a trend that has been going on for the past several decades.
In the last two weeks, approximately 5,000 Central American migrants have arrived in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, just south of California. "Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court," Trump tweeted Saturday. He said illegal immigrants would be caught and detained and not released inside the country, as was the practice earlier. Migrant Caravan: Trump Orders Soldiers to Use 'Lethal Force' and Threatens to Close Border.
"We only will allow those who come into our country legally. Other than that our very strong policy is 'Catch and Detain'. No 'Releasing' into the US... All will stay in Mexico," Trump tweeted. He said all these years illegal immigrants have been taking advantage of the earlier US' policy of 'catch and release', under which they were released inside the country and asked to come back to report to a court at the next hearing on their asylum application.
Trump, who has announced to end the 'catch and release' policy, argues that those immigrants who were let off never come back to the court hearings and it becomes very difficult to identify them once they mix up with the locals.
"If for any reason it becomes necessary, we will CLOSE our Southern Border. There is no way that the United States will, after decades of abuse, put up with this costly and dangerous situation anymore!" he asserted.
Meanwhile, US media on Saturday reported that the Trump administration has reached an understanding with the leaders of the incoming Mexican government that would allow migrants applying for asylum in the US to remain in Mexico while they await a court's decision.
This would be a sharp reversal of the current policy, which allows asylum seekers to remain in the US until their petition is resolved, The New York Times reported. A policy in this regard could be rolled out by the US this coming week, officials from the Department of Homeland Security said, it said.
This is "a short-term solution", Olga Sánchez Cordero, Mexico's incoming interior minister, was quoted as saying by The Washington Post.