EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The Department of Homeland Security has unveiled the website where asylum-seekers sent to wait in Mexico can check if they’re eligible to pursue their claim from inside the United States.
Individuals on the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program that have an active case and have not already been turned down can register online at https://conecta.acnur.org to determine if they’re eligible. Those who are eligible will be given instructions – including date, time and location – for processing through a designated port of entry.
DHS and its international partners are opening the registration process this Friday. Those partners include the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR or ACNUR) and the Organization of International Migration (OIM).
On that day, a limited number of individuals who were registered ahead of time by international organizations will be processed only at the San Ysidro, Calif., port of entry, U.S. federal officials told Border Report.
El Paso will not process any asylum-seekers on the MPP program on Friday and migrants should not approach the port of entry on that day.
“Due to various logistical and operational factors, additional ports of entry will begin processing the following week. For now, El Paso is slated to commence on Friday, February 26,” a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official told Border Report.
“To be clear, processing is not beginning at all three ports, or at full capacity, on that day. Friday is the start of a phased approach to restore safe and orderly processing at the Southwestern border.”
U.S. officials emphasize that only those individuals who have been approved and have received precise appointment information through the electronic registration process should approach the specific port of entry they have been called to.
“Due to the current pandemic, travel restrictions at the border remain in place and will be enforced. Physical presence at a port of entry is not the way to gain access to gain access to this phased effort to draw down the MPP program,” the CBP official said.
Local officials have told Border Report that all returning MPP asylum seekers will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before being allowed to cross into the United States. Mexican officials have told Border Report that the UN agencies will be assisting with testing.