The U.S. will return the first group of asylum seekers to the Mexican border city of Tijuana on Friday, a spokesman for Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told Reuters on Thursday.
The development comes one month after Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenFar-left bullies resort to harassing, shaming Kyrsten Sinema — it won't work Ex-Trump official: 'No. 1 national security threat I've ever seen' is GOP Left-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides MORE announced that migrants seeking asylum in the United States would be sent to Mexico while their cases are evaluated.
“We have notified the Mexican government of our intended actions. In response, Mexico has made an independent determination that they will commit to implement essential measures on their side of the border,” Nielsen said in a statement at the time.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
The spokesperson for Obrador did not disclose to Reuters the nationalities of those who will be sent to Mexico. The policy, in general, is aimed at managing the rising numbers of Central American migrants, the outlet noted.
The U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement in November that would require migrants seeking asylum and who have not yet crossed the southern border to remain in Mexico as their requests are processed.
The Mexican government, in a major reversal of previous policy, announced in December that it would allow Central American migrants to remain in Mexico while their U.S. asylum cases are processed.
Mexico has historically declined to receive any non-Mexican nationals removed from the United States.
The Trump administration’s border policies and the Department of Homeland Security have been criticized for months after the White House introduced a series of hard-line stances on immigration.
President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE has sparked backlash with his administration's proposed policies to restrict migrants’ paths to asylum, such as disallowing immigrants in the country illegally from seeking asylum and forcing migrants seeking asylum to wait in Mexico while their requests are processed. Both policies have faced challenges from federal courts.