USA-Mexco port of entry vs illegal entry

If migrants from Central America (Honduras, El Salvador, etc) believe they have a valid refugee claim while crossing into the USA from Mexico, why don’t they cross the border at an official port of entry instead of crossing “illegally” and having their kids separated from them while they are prosecuted for breaking the law (ie: entering illegally). Why don’t they cross at a legal port of entry and claim refugee status ?

My understanding is that refugee claimants at a port of entry are given due process while their claim is being processed. But if they don’t cross at a port of entry, then they are possibly breaking the law and subject to arrest and prosecution or deported while also being separated from their children.

Canada-USA have a 3rd party safe harbour agreement, does the US and Mexico have a similar agreement ?

Applying at an entry point puts you at risk of a deportation procedure called “expedited removal” where the CBP officer makes the decision alone and without due process.

As you cant apply from asylum from outside the United States it creates a bit of a Kafkaesque situation.

At some ports of entry, CBP officers were physically blocking the actual border, and refusing to let asylum-seekers pass:

Too many people, including the media, are mixing up asylum status vs refugee status.
[li] Refugees can only apply abroad, and not at the border.[/li][li]Asylum seekers apply at the border, hoping to be granted asylum through a bureaucratic process.[/li][/ul]
It appears the GOP administration is circumventing the asylum process by “allowing” asylum seekers to cross the border, but before they can declare asking for asylum, they are arrested and charged with illegally entering the country, denying them outright access to the asylum process entirely.

Thanks for clarifying refugee vs. asylum seeker. This topic is to discuss asylum seekers, so let’s stick to that. As an asylum seeker, why would I choose to cross illegally as opposed to crossing at a port of entry ?

The article re: CBP denying access to the border is possibly just a temporary deterrent based on available space to hold asylum seekers – although there is question about whether that is true or not. I don’t expect this reason alone is why an asylum seeker would choose to enter illegally.

Looking at “expedited removal” - this seems to apply to person making fraudulent statements and/or supplying fraudulent documentation. I’m asking about asylum seekers that believe they have a good case for seeking asylum to the US.

Why are so many asylum seekers choosing to enter illegally ?

The people in that story were not in the country illegally, they were detained before they reached the entry point.

Let’s not get side tracked here.

I am not referring to the people in the story. I am not referring to people in the country illegally.

I am interested in why asylum seekers are choosing to enter illegally (ie: not at a port of entry).

Because it is their best shot at due process.

Think of it this way, if you go to the entry-point and apply there, a single officer is the judge, jury and executioner. This is what “expedited removal” is, so if you want to have your full right to due process you have to do it from within the US.

If you are poor, and from countries that are restricted based on cultural or racial grounds the chances of getting a tourist visa is minimal. This is especially true if you have an administration like the current one which will not grant you a tourist visa.

If you are running from death, and trying to protect your family would you speed? Would you run a stop light? In may cases the laws they are breaking are ‘infractions’ and not some criminal statue too.

For some people, their only option of even possibly getting asylum in the US is to cross illegally.

I’m not an expert but there’s been a lot of news reports about asylum seekers from USA to Canada (25,645 between Jan 2017 and March 2018). Here, asylum seekers are forced to cross illegally because of the Safe Third Country Agreement, e.g. story:

Plenty of groups want to withdraw the pact but “international commitments” are preventing the government to do so. It would be really nice if the pact is withdrawn, and maybe even schedule charter direct flights from the Mexican border to Canada so those people can just bypass the States.

Also my impression is that asylum seekers in Canada aren’t arrested but given proper housing while they wait for a verdict on whether they can stay or not. This is causing some problems because of the sheer number of them coming from the States, e.g. story: but that’s life I suppose and we all need to sacrifice something to give these people a second chance. I think the situation is much worse in Europe so we can’t complain.