At 8 a.m. this morning, the Government of the United States informed the Mexican Government that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intends to invoke a section of its immigration law that would enable it to return non-Mexican individuals to our country for the duration of their immigration proceedings in the United States.

Mexico reaffirms its sovereign right to implement its immigration policy and admit or deny entry into its territory to foreign citizens.  Therefore, the Government of Mexico has decided to take the following steps on behalf of migrants, especially minors, whether accompanied or not, and to protect the right of those who wish to begin and continue the process of applying for asylum in United States territory:

1.         For humanitarian reasons, it will authorize the temporary entrance of certain foreign individuals coming from the United States who entered that country at a port of entry or who were detained between ports of entry, have been interviewed by U.S. immigration authorities, and have received a notice to appear before an immigration judge. This is based on current Mexican legislation and the international commitments Mexico has signed, such as the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, its Protocol, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, among others.

2.         It will allow foreigners who have received a notice to appear to request admission into Mexican territory for humanitarian reasons at locations designated for the international transit of individuals and to remain in national territory. This would be a "stay for humanitarian reasons" and they would be able to enter and leave national territory multiple times.

3.         It will ensure that foreigners who have received their notice to appear have all the rights and freedoms recognized in the Constitution, the international treaties to which Mexico is a party, and its Migration Law.  They will be entitled to equal treatment with no discrimination whatsoever and due respect will be paid to their human rights. They will also have the opportunity to apply for a work permit for paid employment, which will allow them to meet their basic needs.

4.         It will ensure that the measures taken by each government are coordinated at a technical and operational level in order to put mechanisms in place that allow migrants who have receive a notice to appear before a U.S. immigration judge have access without interference to information and legal services, and to prevent fraud and abuse.

The actions taken by the governments of Mexico and the United States do not constitute a Safe Third Country arrangement, in which migrants in transit would be required to apply for asylum in Mexico. They are aimed at facilitating the follow-up to applications for asylum in the United States. This does not imply that foreign individuals face any obstacles to applying for asylum in Mexico.

The Government of Mexico reiterates that all foreign individuals must comply with the law while they are in national territory.

Press conference with Legal Counsel Alejandro Alday on the bilateral relationship with the United States

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