The danger migrants face in Juárez is only one of the challenges — albeit the most harrowing one — for El Paso lawyers representing people who are part of Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP, a U.S. government program that requires many asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico while awaiting their immigration court hearings.
Attorneys also have to deal with shifting U.S. policies around the program, the logistical and liability challenges of meeting with clients in Juárez, and the severe shortage of lawyers to handle the huge volume of asylum-seekers. All of this has created a situation in which very few asylum-seekers actually get attorneys, and most are left to navigate complex immigration court proceedings without representation. (read more)
Since June, the government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has deployed thousands of troops to its country’s southern and northern borders to crack down on migration. The effort has become one of President Donald Trump’s greatest assets in his efforts to slow the flow of asylum-seekers coming across the Southwest border. (read more)
Many of the Central Americans who try to cross the border into El Paso and New Mexico do so in search of better economic opportunities, to reunite with family or to escape violence. But what many don’t know is that unless they can prove they’ve been persecuted in their home countries for specific reasons, their chances of migrating to the U.S. and obtaining asylum are extremely low. (read more)
U.S. authorities say “Remain in Mexico” has helped reduce the volume of Central American migrants crossing into the U.S. to seek asylum. But as far as the protection of migrants is concerned, the program’s impact often has been the opposite of what its name might suggest. (read more)