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UN giving US-bound migrants money, creating their asylum stories: Reports

Migrants who crossed illegally into the U.S. wait to board a bus to be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on June 2, 2021, in La Joya, Texas. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
January 27, 2022

The United Nations is providing money and asylum stories to migrants bound for the United States as updated US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data shows another month of staggering numbers of illegal immigrant arrests at the US-Mexico border.

According to multiple reports from the Center for Immigration Studies last week, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) – which receives billions from US taxpayers – is giving hundreds of thousands of US-bound migrants cash debit cards and other funds for prescription medication, lodging and travel. 

The report shows that migrant families have received as much as $400 every 15 days for “unrestricted … unconditional” use.

CIS Fellow Todd Bensman visited UN offices in Mexico where he filmed and spoke to migrants who were waiting to apply for debit cards from the UN.

Another report stated that at least two United Nations non-profits are paying clinical psychologists “to help migrants recover ‘repressed memories’ of government persecution and other hardship stories that qualify migrants for Mexican asylum and a residence card” as they head to the US-Mexico border.

The coordinator for the Fray Matias de Cordoba human rights center, Enrique Vidal, said the UN is paying the psychologists to recover memories of “torture, persecution, and human rights violations” after the migrants are initially denied asylum as part of an effort to reverse the decision.

“The most common mistake migrants make during interviews . . . is that they are saying that they are suffering economic hardship. It’s not one of the criteria for refugee status,” Vidal told the Center for Immigration Studies in Tapachula. “That may cover up one of the true reasons why they are coming. They need psychological help so they can remember the situation they experienced.”

Vidal said the migrants who use the recovered memories technique during asylum interviews with Mexican immigration officials see a 90 percent approval rate.

“That’s the most important part of the process. That’s when the Mexican authorities listen to the motives of why they left their country. And those motives have to be according to international conventions,” Vidal said.

“For example, if they have an economic need, that’s not necessarily one of the requirements. However, once we do our interview with them we find out they did suffer some type of violence or persecution or anything that qualifies as refugees, we tell them to emphasize those.”

The reports come after the Biden administration recorded 1.7 million illegal immigrant arrests at the US-Mexico border in FY21. The rate of illegal immigration shows no signs of slowing down – just three months into FY22, Biden’s CBP has already recorded over 500,000 illegal immigrant arrests, including 178,840 in December alone.