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‘Metering’ and the deaths of the Salvadoran father and daughter

Julian Castro, the former HUD secretary, said he would eliminate Trump-era immigration policies including “metering,” which he blamed for the drowning deaths of the Salvadoran father and 23-month-old girl in the photo that circulated widely Wednesday.

Metering is practice of limiting the number of people allowed to approach U.S. border crossings to apply for asylum. CBP officials implemented the practice widely when the number of asylum seekers surged last year, insisting that CBP officers are too busy with their standard tasks — inspecting cars, cargo and passports — to process thousands of asylum claims each day.

With tens of thousands of migrants waiting on the Mexican side to cross, delays now span months in several border cities. But U.S. officials say it is unrealistic to expect CBP officers to provide on-demand asylum processing to everyone who arrives.

Castro’s claim that the deaths of the father and daughter were also the result of “metering” is also unsubstantiated. According to accounts in the Salvadoran press, the family initially sought refuge in Mexico, but grew impatient with the asylum process there, and decided to cross illegally through the river. There is no indication that they attempted to enter the United States at an official border crossing and were turned back as a result of “metering.”

Fact-checking the first Democratic debate

Twenty candidates are taking the stage Wednesday and Thursday night, with 10 candidates each night. The Fact Checker will be watching and vetting the statements candidates make.