Backed up asylum process at borders now numbering people

Migrants are marked with permanent marker and told to wait for their number to be called to apply for asylum

Since the summer, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has been placing officers at international bridges, instructing them to block individuals without documentation from going to U.S. ports of entry. This has created a concentration of migrants at border cities with Mexico like Juarez and Tijuana.

According to Yahoo News, if asylum seekers are turned away by CBP, they are instructed to have their names added to a list, a process being used in Juarez and Tijuana. Once on the list, a number is written in black permanent marker on the inside of their wrists and they are expected to wait until their number is called to apply for asylum.

In the past, CBP opened temporary facilities if there was an influx of migrants. However, as part of the president’s “zero tolerance policy,” CBP has a cap on the number permitted to enter each day putting tremendous strain on Mexican authorities to receive immigrants. Shaw Drake of the ACLU stated that these actions “potentially put people at risk and is in violation of [the agency’s] legal responsibility to inspect and process people who are presenting themselves to agents at the ports.” According to the ACLU and other advocacy groups, CBP is violating international law by not giving asylum seekers to free access to ports of entry.

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