Now, the returned Central American migrants will have to wait in the Mexican border city of Tijuana to conclude their immigration trial before the U.S. courts. This mandatory displacement of migrants, to Mexico, is part of the implementation of Washington's Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
According to the norms of the MPP, migrants who enter or request admission to the United States - illegally or without proper documentation - could be sent back to Mexico to wait during the course of their immigration proceedings.
The U.S. policy is allegedly aimed at curbing the increasing number of families arriving, mostly from Central America, to request asylum due to the fear of returning home because of violence. The Trump Administration, however, says many of the migrants' claims are not valid.
The first Central American migrant asylum seeker returned to Mexico until his next U.S. court date told reporters in Tijuana he's disappointed after fighting to hard for his chance. https://t.co/xrLjwIX3B9 via @YouTube
Immigration lawyers have warned that the MPP only suits to worsen the already-bad humanitarian crisis because the new procedure hinders access to legal advice as well as puts due process - which states all persons have rights in the U.S. - at risk.
"It is clearly an attack on asylum-seekers coming from Central America and Mexico because they are taking away the right of due process established by law, which means a debacle for the asylum system," Victor Nieblas, a Californian lawyer, said.
As @SecNielsen visits the San Ysidro port at the U.S.-Mexico #border, PHR reminds her that the newly-instated Migration Protection Protocols put at risk thousands of #asylum seekers and blatantly disregard U.S. and international law. More to come. pic.twitter.com/sKkxsbDsie
Leidy Perez-Davis, a counselor with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), pointed out that the first obstacle, faced by applicants, is that would-be migrants are not allowed access to a legal advisor during the first two evaluations carried out by U.S. federal authorities at the border.
The process adversely affects the case of the migrant because, besides showing reasons to request asylum, the applicant must prove that his or her life is in danger if he or she is forced to return to Mexico.
"The danger in the border areas of Mexico is real, but getting proof of this will be very difficult, even for Mexicans themselves," Nieblas explained.