Asylum-Granted Immigrants Turned Away at Border

January 29, 2020

The administration’s war on asylum seekers continues, and now, even those granted legal asylum in the U.S. may find themselves turned away at the U.S.-Mexico border. Recent reports indicate that U.S. officials are taking extra steps to deny those granted asylum entry into the country. Such actions include issuing fake court date notices, so asylum grantees are forced to wait in Mexico while their appeals make their way through the system.

Phony Court Dates

A 25-year old who fled his native country of Cuba after suffering from beatings and shackling by the Cuban government after referring to the regime as a dictatorship, and listening to music on what was the official mourning date for Fidel Castro, was granted legal asylum after his appearance at temporary court in Texas. The judge in the case oversaw the court appearance via videoconference in San Antonio and granted him asylum in November.

Four days later, he headed to a U.S. port of entry with his lawyer, requesting admittance. However, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) official at the port of entry gave the young man a notice for a January court appearance. A reporter learning of the incident later confirmed that there was no scheduled court appearance after calling the Department of Justice’s automated phone line.

He was informed by the CBP agent that he would have to stay in Mexico. Homeland Security officials had 30 days to determine whether to appeal his case. An American Immigration Council policy analyst told Buzzfeed that such actions are an exercise in cruelty. He added that because the person granted asylum has no future court dates, the CBP simply makes new ones.

When the acting CBP Commissioner was informed that people granted asylum were returned to Mexico at a press conference, his response was that it should not be happening. A spokesperson for the agency said that if a decision is appealed, immigration proceedings remain ongoing. Those enrolled in the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) must stay in Mexico as their cases move forward. At least three others were also granted asylum but were made to return to Mexico. These three were from Venezuela.

Violent Attacks

These individuals were distraught about having to remain in Mexico for a variety of reasons. In early December, Human Rights First (HRF), an advocacy organization for immigrants, reported more than 600 violent attacks against those returned to Mexico. These crimes included rape, assault, kidnapping, and torture. Some of those seeking asylum have been kidnapped and cannot make it to their U.S. court date.

The shelter situation for asylum seekers is just as bad. HRF reported that members of Mexican cartels in Nuevo Laredo, the site of many shelters, have threatened and robbed asylum seekers, and that the government was not providing any security to these terrified individuals.

Philadelphia Asylum Lawyers at the MC Law Group, LLC Assist Those Seeking Asylum

If you or someone you know is seeking asylum or battling deportation, you need the services of an experienced Philadelphia asylum lawyer at the MC Law Group, LLC. Contact us online or call us at 215-496-0690 to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.