US expands program making asylum seekers wait in Mexico

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. government program requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico has expanded to a second port of entry.

Homeland Security officials say the program is now at the Calexico port, about 120 miles east of the San Ysidro port where the program began in January. So far, 240 people total have been returned to wait out their asylum cases.

The Trump administration’s program is a potentially seismic shift on how the U.S. handles the cases of immigrants seeking asylum and fleeing persecution in their homeland.

It is being implemented as border arrests soared in February to a 12-year-high and more than half of those stopped arrived as families, many of them asylum seekers who generally turn themselves in instead of trying to elude capture.

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