Refugees gather early in the morning to consult a member of the Mexican Institute of Migration about their place in asylum line. Photo by Chris Stone

The Trump administration’s changes to U.S. asylum policy have led to a drastic reduction in the number of migrants being granted asylum, it was reported Monday.

Data shows that as of September, fewer than 10,000 of the more than 47,000 people in the Migrant Protection Protocols or “Remain in Mexico” program had completed their cases, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Of that group, 5,085 cases were denied while 4,471 cases were dismissed without a decision being made — mostly on procedural grounds, according to the newspaper. Only 11 cases — or 0.1% of all completed cases — resulted in asylum being granted.

That 0.1% rate is drastically lower than the 20 percent of people who were granted asylum outside of the Remain in Mexico process, the newspaper reported.

In 2018, data showed a 48% denial rate and a 30 percent “other” rate — with the “other” category meaning that asylum cases either ended without a decision being made, or were withdrawn for some reason, according to the Union-Tribune.

The Remain in Mexico policy, first announced in January, requires asylum seekers with immigration court cases in the U.S. to wait in Mexico until their cases are adjudicated.

Before migrants can even request asylum they often face a months-long wait in Mexico before being allowed to turn themselves in to Customs and Border Protection agents.

There are more than 10,000 migrants currently in Tijuana waiting to enter the United States and legally asking for asylum, according to the Union- Tribune.

The Trump administration also implemented an “asylum ban” policy in July which makes non-Mexican asylum seekers at the southern border ineligible for asylum unless they’ve already requested asylum in another country.

Department of Homeland Security officials say these policies are necessary because there is a limited amount of space in holding facilities where they process migrants who enter the country without proper documentation.

Advocates who have sued the federal government regarding this practice argue that it violates international laws by preventing migrants from their right to request asylum — particularly Mexican asylum seekers who are forced to wait in the same country they are fleeing from, the newspaper reported.

— City News Service

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