The Department of Homeland Security confirmed Tuesday that it wants to send people who cross the southern U.S. border back to Mexico — even if they are not Mexican nationals.
DHS officials made the confirmation in a phone call to reporters, ProPublica reported.
The plan would affect mostly people from the Central and South American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil, El Salvador and Ecuador and the Caribbean nation of Haiti.
Many are refugees fleeing violence in their home countries and are allowed to seek asylum in the United States. While they would still be able to apply to enter the United States, but not from inside the country.
"This would say if you want to make a claim for asylum or whatever we'll hear your case but you are going to wait in Mexico," a DHS official told reporters. "Those are details that are being worked out both within the department and between the U.S. government and the government of Mexico … there are elements that still need to be worked out in detail."
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are set to visit Mexico this week, but it is not known if they will discuss the plan to send migrants back to Mexico, ProPublica reported.
The report comes as DHS released guidelines suggesting almost all illegal immigrants will be subject to deportation with the exception of so-called "Dreamers" who were brought to the United States as children.
Current raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been targeting illegal immigrants who have committed crimes.
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