The Trump administration has come up with yet another way to attempt to limit the ability of asylum-seekers to safely enter the U.S. and request asylum. The Department of Homeland Security has said that starting as early as January 25, 2019, U.S. immigration officials will begin forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed. Under this plan, asylum seekers will be processed by immigration officials and then returned to Tijuana. They will be given an 800-number to call to check their case status and are being told their claims will be processed in 45 days.
In addition to this new procedure, according to Mexican government officials, the Port of Entry at Tijuana/San Ysidro, California will begin allowing only 20 migrants a day to claim asylum at that Port of Entry. This Port of Entry is the country’s busiest border crossing and in the past had processed up to 100 migrants a day.
These procedures will make the asylum process much longer and, arguably, much more dangerous for asylum seekers coming to the U.S. through the Mexican border. They will also make it much more difficult for asylum seekers to win their case since applicants with attorneys are five times more likely to win their cases. Being forced to remain in Mexico while their asylum claims are being processed will make it difficult to both find a reputable immigration attorney and submit proper evidence in support of that asylum claim. Some experts say these procedures will also make it much more likely that asylum seekers will attempt to enter the country illegally to avoid this backlog.
In the midst of these new changes, the president shut down the government for more than a month in an effort to extract funding for a border wall from Congress. During the shutdown almost all immigration courts were closed, meaning individuals scheduled to appear for hearings in removal proceedings had their hearings canceled, which includes those already in the country seeking asylum before an immigration judge. Trump continues to cite to the number of undocumented immigrants coming across the border without inspection as the reason the wall is needed, but experts have shown that most undocumented immigrants in the U.S. came in with some kind of visa or permit and have overstayed.
What each of these actions show is that the rights of immigrants in the U.S. continue to be under attack. But the attorneys at Joseph & Hall P.C. are continuing to fight for our clients every way we can. If you have questions about your immigration case, please call our office to schedule a consultation.
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