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More than 1,000 Mexican migrants had been waiting for weeks, some for months, for a chance to file for asylum in the U.S. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. will begin sending Mexican asylum-seekers to Guatemala to wait out their cases instead of allowing them to remain in the U.S., according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.

Why it matters: The Trump administration had previously implemented a "remain in Mexico" policy for asylum-seekers from Central America, but international law forbids asylum-seekers from being sent back to their home country due to concerns they may face prosecution. Mexicans account for more than half of the estimated 21,000 asylum seekers waiting along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The big picture: The "remain in Mexico" policy for Central Americans was implemented in November, but asylum officials were emailed guidance in recent days on how to expand the process to include Mexicans, per BuzzFeed.

  • Asylum officers will interview the asylum-seekers to determine whether they are eligible to be deported to Guatemala and gain protections there rather than the U.S.

What they're saying:

“Mexico is dangerous; Guatemala is even more so. This expansion of the [agreement] continues to prevent legitimate asylum-seekers from having their cases heard by the US and foists them upon the Guatemalan system, which has about a dozen staff. Asylum in the US is now practically available only for people wealthy and privileged enough to get visas, shutting out many of the most vulnerable groups asking for help at our borders.”
— An anonymous asylum official told BuzzFeed

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

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

5 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.