Dec 26, 2019

Mexicans make up half of asylum seekers at southern border

Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

Mexicans account for more than half of the estimated 21,000 asylum seekers waiting along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Why it matters: The increase in Mexican asylum seekers poses a particular challenge to the Trump administration and its "Remain in Mexico" policy, which requires Central American refugee seekers to remain in Mexico while they await their hearings. It can't apply to Mexicans since international law bans sending people back to the country where they may face persecution.

  • The flow of Central Americans seeking asylum in the U.S. has simultaneously been lessening as a result of the more restrictive policies put in place by the Trump administration and Mexico.

Why now: Mexicans struggling with poverty and violence in some parts of the country are seeking asylum in the U.S. after hearing stories of Central Americans having some success with the process.

  • U.S. authorities are currently only allowing a small number of Mexican asylum seekers to enter the country each day through a process known as "metering."

What's next: Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said the U.S. could start sending Mexican asylum seekers to Guatemala to wait out their cases instead of allowing them to remain in the U.S.

Go deeper: Republican governors reject Trump’s offer to ban refugees

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Updated 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Esper catches White House off guard with opposition to military use, photo op

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a press briefing Wednesday that he does not currently support invoking the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that permits the president to use active-duty troops on U.S. soil, in order to quell protests against racial injustice.

Why it matters: President Trump threatened this week to deploy military forces if state and local governments aren't able to squash violent protests. Axios reported on Tuesday that Trump is backing off the idea for now, but that he hasn't ruled it out.

Updates: George Floyd protests continue for 9th day

Demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue on June 3. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Largely peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Wednesday, marking nine straight days of demonstrations.

The latest: As several major cities moved to lift curfews, NYPD officers "aggressively" dispersed large crowds in Brooklyn and Manhattan beyond New York City's 8 p.m. curfew, per the New York Times. The National Guard was stationed outside many protests Wednesday night, including in Hollywood and Atlanta.

Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"