"Catch and return": U.S. asylum seekers will have to wait in Mexico

By Kate Smith

/ CBS News

In a major Trump administration win, migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. will now wait in Mexico as they wait for an immigration judge to rule on their case. Under the new plan, asylum seekers will be sent back to Mexico until they are scheduled to appear in front of an immigration judge, a process that can take up to four years, according to the American Immigration Council, a legal group.

Asylum seekers have been allowed to live in the United States while wearing an ankle monitor as they waited for an immigration court date. In a statement, Kirstjen M. Nielsen, the secretary of Department of Homeland Security, said many never showed up to their court dates, creating a "catch and release" problem.

"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," wrote 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.'"

In November, the immigration court backlog reached one million cases, a record-high, according to Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

The implementation of the policy, which has been informally called "Remain in Mexico," will begin immediately, according to a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

This is a developing story

First published on December 20, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Man at center of N.C. probe declines interview request

Leslie McCrae Dowless is at the center of an investigation into the election in the ninth congressional district in North Carolina, where Republican Mark Harris won by 905 votes

updated 18M ago

Sensitive info at risk in Facebook Messenger, experts say

"I would not trust Facebook with any of my information in a million years," one cybersecurity expert told CBS News

updated 18M ago

Holiday spending leaves many renters in the red

New Yorkers wind up in a $4,200 hole on average, while Seattle renters still have $1,700 after Santa is long gone

updated 45M ago

BuzzFeed wins defamation case related to Trump dossier story

A Russian technology executive had sued Buzzfeed over the publication of the unverified dossier

updated 50M ago

U.S. ally in Syria warns troop pullout will lead to ISIS resurgence

"The war against terrorism has not ended and [ISIS] has not been defeated," Syrian Democratic Forces said

updated 54M ago

Man at center of N.C. probe declines interview request

Leslie McCrae Dowless is at the center of an investigation into the election in the ninth congressional district in North Carolina, where Republican Mark Harris won by 905 votes

updated 18M ago

BuzzFeed wins defamation case related to Trump dossier story

A Russian technology executive had sued Buzzfeed over the publication of the unverified dossier

updated 50M ago

Government funding bill passage now uncertain in the House

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says GOP is in "disarray" as they try to work out way forward on bill to fund the government, given Trump's unhappiness about its lack of wall funding

1H ago

DNC announces 12 debates for 2020 presidential campaign

There will be six Democratic primary debates in 2019 and six in 2020. DNC Chairman Tom Perez also announced a "level playing field" for the debates

1H ago

Trump struggles to defend decision to pull out of Syria

He declared ISIS defeated in Syria and claimed Russia, Iran and Syria are unhappy with his decision

1H ago

U.S. ally in Syria warns troop pullout will lead to ISIS resurgence

"The war against terrorism has not ended and [ISIS] has not been defeated," Syrian Democratic Forces said

updated 54M ago

"Assad has won," expert says, as Trump pulls troops from Syria

Republicans and Democrats alike are condemning the president's decision to withdraw U.S. forces

updated 57M ago

Drone sightings wreak havoc at London's Gatwick Airport

10,000 passengers hit by delays and cancellations, including 4,000 who are stuck at airports unable to depart or arrive

5H ago

Putin warns of growing threat of nuclear war

"The danger of the situation escalating is being downplayed," Putin said during his annual end-of-year news conference

5H ago

Church holds marathon Mass to shield family from deportation

The marathon Mass has been going on 24 hours a day, for six weeks, five days and 23 hours, without a single break

18H ago

Cher explains why she isn't the woman you see on stage

Cher joins this year's prestigious class of artists​ receiving recognition from the Kennedy Center for their lifetime contributions to American culture

4H ago

Macaulay Culkin is "Home Alone" again in new ad

"You have the house to yourself," Google Assistant tells a grown-up Kevin McCallister, 28 years after he was first left home alone

18H ago

Eliza Dushku breaks silence on $9.5 million settlement

Actress Eliza Dushku speaks out about her harassment on-set with "Bull" in an op-ed

18H ago

CBS employees call for transparency and accountability from CBS board

After the CBS board of directors said​ its investigation into former CEO Leslie Moonves and workplace culture issues was complete, some CBS employees and others called for the board to be more open about the findings

Dec 19

Gisele Bündchen in note to younger self: "You are enough"

"Keep following your heart and don't apologize for being you," she writes

22H ago

Sensitive info at risk in Facebook Messenger, experts say

"I would not trust Facebook with any of my information in a million years," one cybersecurity expert told CBS News

updated 18M ago

Amazon sent 1,700 Alexa recordings to wrong customer

Man who reportedly never used the company's virtual assistant received 1,700 recordings it had made of a stranger

2H ago

Companies use VR to train employees for hostage situations, robberies

"VR takes your brain elsewhere…. It's basically like visualization on steroids"

4H ago

Addicted to your smartphone? How track your screen time

Apple and Google both have tools to help you manage your screen time on mobile devices

17H ago

DC attorney general sues Facebook over privacy scandal

Lawsuit accuses social media giant of misleading users about the security of their personal data

Dec 19

Wegmans pulls cauliflower rice, stir fry mixes on E. coli fears

Grocery chain sold possibly tainted products this month in produce departments at nearly 100 stores in six states

1H ago

NYC bill would let patients of abusive doctors amend birth certificates

A New York City Council Member said the bill was inspired by a woman who wants a sex offender former doctor removed from her twins' birth certificates

20H ago

Father fights to legalize marijuana in bid to help son

"We just want a chance to prove and to show that cannabis has medical properties and cannabis can help patients and kids like Jagger"

21H ago

U.S. women pay more, fare worse in global health study

More than one-third of American women reported skipping needed medical care because of the cost

21H ago

GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer to create over-the-counter drug giant

The two drugmakers are merging their healthcare divisions, bringing together brands such as Sensodyne and Advil

Dec 19

Sensitive info at risk in Facebook Messenger, experts say

"I would not trust Facebook with any of my information in a million years," one cybersecurity expert told CBS News

updated 18M ago

Holiday spending leaves many renters in the red

New Yorkers wind up in a $4,200 hole on average, while Seattle renters still have $1,700 after Santa is long gone

updated 45M ago

Counting on a tax refund? You may owe this year, IRS says

The tax bill signed by Donald Trump last year may create an unwelcome surprise for some taxpayers in April

1H ago

Wegmans pulls cauliflower rice, stir fry mixes on E. coli fears

Grocery chain sold possibly tainted products this month in produce departments at nearly 100 stores in six states

1H ago

Amazon sent 1,700 Alexa recordings to wrong customer

Man who reportedly never used the company's virtual assistant received 1,700 recordings it had made of a stranger

2H ago

Deputy kills family, confesses over radio before turning gun on himself

The Florida school officer killed three relatives including his granddaughter, 6, before killing himself, sheriff says

19H ago

Redskins safety charged with assault for fight caught on video

Police say Montae Nicholson and his girlfriend were involved in an argument that escalated into a physical assault

20H ago

Senate passes bipartisan criminal justice bill

Senate voted Tuesday night to approve a sweeping criminal justice overhaul supported by President Trump

Dec 19

Woman in New York fights back, prevents her car from being stolen

Bronx mother Tihisha Jones gets street justice after stopping a suspected car thief in his tracks — and it was all caught on camera

Dec 18

Man in alleged GoFundMe scam could face jail on traffic charges

Mark D'Amico, his girlfriend and a homeless veteran allegedly concocted a good Samaritan story to scam donors

Dec 18  Original Article