One year now has passed since the Trump Administration implemented Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), colloquially known as the Remain in Mexico policy. MPP requires immigrants seeking asylum to wait in Mexico until the immigration court is ready to hear their asylum cases. This policy has resulted in border officials sending more than 56,000 people back to Mexico when they arrive at the border to apply for asylum.
To handle the crush of people seeking asylum, the Trump Administration has erected two large pop-up tents in Brownsville and Laredo, Texas, to serve as makeshift immigration courts. These courts were not open to the public for some five months after they began operating, and even now, public access is minimal, with some onlookers reportedly being turned away for attempting to enter with a pen and paper. Immigration court hearings traditionally are open to the public, and border officials seem unsure of what policy or law that restricts access to the tent courts, where the same kind of immigration hearings are held as in courtrooms throughout the nation.
Immigration judges are not even present in the tent courts for immigration hearings. Instead, they appear by teleconference from different locations. Members of the public also may not sit in at those locations for the hearings being conducted remotely in tents. These policies have prevented family members from being present during their loved ones’ immigration hearings, and also have prevented representatives of advocacy organizations from ensuring that justice is occurring during these hearing.
The Trump Administration claims that MPP has enabled them to weed out false asylum claims and speed up wait times. In reality, however, more than 2,500 people are living just over the border in Mexico in a tent encampment in squalid conditions. When sent back to Mexico, these individuals have nowhere to go and nothing to do but wait for their court dates.
The immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience that you need when you are seeking any relief or benefit under federal immigration laws. We will determine the facts and evidence that are relevant to your case, evaluate your options, and help you decide the best course of action for your situation. We intend to place you in the best position possible to achieve your goals. Contact our Texas immigration attorneys at our office today and learn how we can assist you through this complicated situation.