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New Immigration Policy on Asylum Raising Concerns

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WESLACO –  Two groups emerge from the concerns raised by the new U.S. asylum seeker policy which was agreed upon by Mexico.

There are those concerned with what will happen to the migrants sent back and those who wonder about the logistics on how Mexico will implement the policy.

Mexico woke up this morning to a new policy announced by the U.S.

Those who work on the border heard a dissonance with reality.

"We believe there's a disparity between the reality and the resources available to attend to this situation," said Jose Martin Carmona Flores, the general director of the Tamaulipas Migrant Institute.

Tamaulipas has long been a popular crossing choice for migrants.

Many of its 17 bridges and dozens of migrant shelters faced overwhelming numbers of asylum seekers this year waiting to cross to the U.S.

The new policy could bottleneck the crowds in Mexico for an undetermined amount of time.

Carmona Flores believes the policy is sound, the execution botched.

"We're practically at the mercy of a policy that defies reality in our region. It didn't consult with us. It didn't ask us the effect it could have on our border to maintain large quantities of immigrants on hold," Flores says.

Carmona Flores says two government programs, Fondo de Apoyo a Migrantes and Fondo Para Fronteras, which help provide resources for migrants are waiting for funding allocation for the new year, but are practically canceled for now.

With limited funds it leaves them at the mercy of charity from the community, churches and other groups that volunteer to help migrants.

While they wait, the migrants could likely become targets believes McAllen-based immigration attorney Jesus Valdez.

"I've had some clients that were detained with criminals here in the United States and got deported with them," said Valdez.

"And once they get deported back to Mexico, these members of criminal organizations basically scare them into cooperating with them for whatever means."

Valdez's concerns are shared with the Commission of Human Rights in Reynosa.

Director Geovanni Barrios Moreno says, "Tamaulipas is not a state living a normal life. We have a society in chaos. This is something that we're working on but there's still so much to do."

Moreno handles human rights complaints as well as reports of missing people.

He says he anticipates both of those reports will go up with the increase in migrants sent back.

By the start of the new year, Moreno says the Commission of Human Rights expects to roll out a campaign to make migrants aware of the dangers and their rights while they stay in Mexico.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS also reached out to the State of Tamaulipas Office.

They said they are waiting for the situation to clear up before making a statement.

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