Trump’s Remain in Mexico Policy is a Devastating Blow to Due Process and Human Rights Protections

| Mar 7, 2019 | Asylum, Deportation/removal Defense, Firm News, Immigration |

DHS recently announced an unprecedented new policy called the Migrant Protection Protocols (“MPP”). The MPP is currently only being implemented in Tijuana, but will imminently be expanded to other cities on the U.S.-Mexico border. As we brace ourselves for the expansion of this program, it is important to consider just how much of a blow it is to due process and human rights protections for refugees and asylum seekers.

The MPP, does not provide protection to migrants as its name suggests. On the contrary, the MPP, otherwise known as the Remain in Mexico policy, provides devastating barriers to asylum seekers. The ostensible purpose of the policy, according to DHS, is to keep people from “taking advantage of the immigration system” and to strengthen national security. However, the end result is a due process and human rights disaster. The MPP requires that migrants who seek to enter the United States from Mexico without documentation, and who have shown a credible fear of return to their home countries, will have to await their immigration court hearings in Mexico rather than the United States.

The Remain in Mexico policy strips asylum applicants and refugees of their due process rights. Under the new rules, they must try to secure competent legal representation, file the appropriate paperwork, and meet all filing deadlines from within Mexico. These respondents are only allowed to enter the United States to attend their removal hearings. They are denied the opportunity to meet with attorneys or prepare their cases. Preparing a viable asylum case in immigration court generally involves submitting a detailed declaration, often a medical, psychological, or country conditions expert’s report, other supporting documentation, country conditions evidence, and a well-reasoned legal brief, all of which require representation by a zealous well-trained immigration attorney or accredited representative. It is well established that unrepresented respondents in immigration court are far more likely to lose their cases than those with legal representation.

Aside from the due process concerns, there are significant safety concerns with the Remain in Mexico policy as well. The respondents subject to the MPP who are from Central America, are being relegated to crowded and under-funded shelters in dangerous border areas in cities such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. Some will be sitting ducks for the very persecutors they are trying to escape. DHS has even explicitly included migrants who fear return to Mexico, “but who have been assessed not to be more likely than not to face persecution or torture in Mexico” in the policy’s implementation. This clearly violates international law’s prohibition on refoulement, to which the United States is bound pursuant to the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. Nonrefoulment is an obligation by which a country shall not return a refugee to a country where his or her life or freedom would be threatened on account of a protected ground. The MPP is another example of the Trump Administration disregarding the law simply to further its xenophobic agenda.

As with most of Trump’s inhumane policies, the MPP has been challenged in federal court and the case is currently pending. It is important to keep an eye on the litigation as it will affect many asylum seekers in the near future.

If you or a family member is subjected to the Remain in Mexico policy, it is imperative that you try to schedule a phone consultation with an experienced immigration attorney. Filing for asylum in court is daunting enough as it is from within the United States, but will be exponentially more difficult if having to be done from Mexico.

COVID-19 Update

Big News- Firm Merger!

Bean + Lloyd, LLP and Park & Taylor to form Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP

We are thrilled to announce the merger of Bean + Lloyd, LLP and Park & Taylor, two highly respected Bay Area immigration law firms, beginning April 16, 2021. The new firm, Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP, combines decades of immigration experience in the subfields of family-based immigration, removal defense, asylum, humanitarian visas, and criminal immigration.

Partners Jesse Lloyd and Anita Mukherji, both certified specialists in immigration and nationality law by the California State Bar, will lead the firm. Karyn Taylor will join as Of Counsel, and Angela Bean will remain as partner and Anna von Herrmann as Of Counsel. The Park & Taylor staff will bring their two decades of experience to the team.

Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP, will maintain both its Oakland and San Francisco offices. While both offices will be temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19, our staff will still be available by phone, email, and text message, and all consultations and client appointments will continue by phone or video. We look forward to reopening physically when it is safe to do so.

Please contact us at (510) 433-1900 or www.beanlloyd.com with any inquiries.

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