According to a report from the Associated Press, the federal government is continuing to return more and more immigrants seeking asylum to Mexico while they wait in a very long line. In August, Tijuana’s waitlist had reached over 10,000 names, up substantially from 4,800 just three months ago. Nonetheless, the U.S. government continues to return more Central American immigrants to Mexico to await their asylum court dates. The most recent estimates indicate that there are more 50,000 migrants who reached the U.S. border with Mexico now on a waiting list, either awaiting their court dates or their initial chance to apply for asylum. No one knows how many migrants have given up and returned to Central America, decided to settle in Mexico, or crossed the border into the U.S. without authorization.
Currently, migrants are reporting that they must wait in Tijuana about 3 ½ months before their names appear at the top of the waiting list. However, with the continued addition of more and more names to the existing lists, most people expect this wait time to increase.
For its part, under threats of tariffs by the Trump Administration, Mexico agreed to allow immigrants to wait there until their cases came up in clogged immigration courts. The U.S. government has limited the number of asylum applicants that they will take each day, which has resulted in haphazard arrangements by Mexican social service agencies and immigrants themselves to determine who fills the available slots each day. These practices vary widely from one city to the next. The chaos is compounded by an eight-day stretch of days in the month of July during which the U.S. accepted no applicants for asylum.
What will happen to the remaining immigrants on these lists is unclear at this point. The U.S. Supreme Court just lifted a lower federal court injunction that would have prevented the federal government from automatically denying asylum applications from individuals who traveled through another country and did not first apply for asylum there. This ruling gives the federal government the green light to go forward with denying asylum to these immigrants. As a result, many of the thousands of Central American migrants on the waitlists could be facing automatic rejection of their asylum applications very soon. While the issue inevitably will return to the U.S. Supreme Court for consideration, that process is likely to take several months, which is not helpful for the thousands of migrants affected by the ruling.
At Peek & Toland, we care about helping you through your immigration problems. We will focus our efforts on advocating on your behalf and representing your interests throughout the immigration process. Our knowledgeable immigration lawyers know the best strategies for gathering documentation to support your goals. Allow us to handle your immigration case by sitting down with us today and discussing your situation.