Tue, May 09, 2017 - Page 9 News List

US border agents rejecting refugees: report

Trump’s rhetoric on illegal immigration seems to have encouraged some border agents to act beyond their purview by turning away people seeking refuge

By Caitlin Dickerson and Miriam Jordan  /  NY Times News Service, TIJUANA, Mexico

However, that system was intended mainly for Haitians, and non-Haitians have said they have not been given numbers.

Mary Galvan, a Brazilian nun who runs Madre Assunta, a shelter for women and girls in Tijuana, said that asylum seekers who spend weeks preparing documents to prove their cases often return within hours because they are rebuffed by US officials at the border.

Outside in a courtyard, Abi Quijada, 10, and her sister Cesia, 11, also from El Salvador, played with dolls and jewelry-making kits.

Their mother, Sandra, spoke on the telephone with her eldest daughter, Xiomara, 16, who was at a shelter in Texas. The family was separated in Mexico en route to Tijuana.

Sandra said she worried about Xiomara, who struggles with depression and has attempted suicide.

“I feel so powerless,” she said, adding that they escaped together after Sandra’s former partner, a gang member, became abusive.

Without looking up from the earrings she was carefully constructing with hot pink beads and purple plastic string, Cesia asked in Spanish if it was true that the US was no longer accepting refugios — people seeking refuge — like them.

Abi said she wanted to go to the US “because it’s safe there.”

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