Julián Castro says asylum seekers he escorted across border were sent back to Mexico

Julián Castro says asylum seekers he escorted across border were sent back to Mexico
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro on Monday escorted a dozen asylum seekers across the U.S.-Mexico border in hopes of having their asylum requests processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

But Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama administration, said in a tweet that the asylum seekers were instead returned to Mexico.

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“Hours after we were told LGBT and disabled asylum seekers would have their cases heard, they have been returned to Mexico,” Castro wrote in an update to a previous tweet. “By law, these migrants are supposed to be exempt from the Remain in Mexico policy—but @CBP had decided to ignore their due process. Outrageous.”

Immigrants seeking asylum in the United States can no longer wait in the country under the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols policy, also known as Remain in Mexico, according to NPR.

The dozen asylum seekers were hoping to stay in America while awaiting their immigration court dates under an exemption to the policy.

The group escorted by Castro included LGBT immigrants who said they had been threatened and assaulted while waiting in Matamoros, Mexico.

The Texas Civil Rights Project called CBP’s decision to send the asylum seekers back “a brutal blow to due process.”

"These 12 people have been in CBP custody for 3 hours, which means that each person had less than 15 minutes for their non-refoulement interviews," the group tweeted in a statement.

The Hill has reached out to CBP for comment.

Castro has made immigration reform a foundation of his candidacy and called for a change to the Trump administration’s policy after escorting the asylum seekers.

"I hope that people in this country who say they're Jesus-loving, God-loving, that they pay more attention to God-loving, Jesus-loving people on this side of the border that are brown-skinned that are desperate and are being treated cruelly by this president," he said, according to NPR.