A migrant family at the San Ysidro Port of Entry waits for entrance into the United States in November. Photo by Chris Stone

The United States has told Mexico that it will no longer admit asylum seekers but require them to remain in that country until their case is heard.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced the new process Thursday morning prior to testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.

“Aliens trying to game the system to get into our country illegally will no longer be able to disappear into the United States, where many skip their court dates,” said Nielsen. “Instead, they will wait for an immigration court decision while they are in Mexico. ‘Catch and release’ will be replaced with ‘catch and return.’”

Under the new process, asylum seekers would be processed by the Department of Homeland Security and given a “Notice to Appear” for their immigration court hearing.

Nielsen said she expected migrants to receive humanitarian visas to remain in Mexico, where they could apply for work while they await a U.S. asylum determination.

“Mexico has made an independent determination that they will commit to implement essential measures on their side of the border,” Nielsen said.

She said the new policy would “reduce illegal migration by removing one of the key incentives that encourages people from taking the dangerous journey to the United States in the first place.”

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