US "Remain in Mexico" migrants will have to travel 340 miles for U.S. hearings

05:20  03 january  2020
05:20  03 january  2020 Source:   cbsnews.com

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SAN PEDRO TAPANATEPEC, Mexico — For some of the Central American migrants traveling in a massive caravan across Mexico , the reality of the enormous distance head has begun to set in. Their walk, if they reach the United States, will have more than 2,000 miles to go. It could take them three

The “ remain - in - Mexico ” policy was first applied to single adults but quickly expanded to include families, who Guidelines for agents in San Diego say the policy should target Spanish speakers and migrants In Mexicali, a large Mexican border city, they must travel 120 miles to Tijuana by bus or

Washington — Under an expansion of the controversial "Remain in Mexico" program, some asylum-seekers returned by U.S. authorities to northern Mexico will have to travel more than 340 miles by car to attend hearings in an American immigration court.

a group of people on a bridge: Mexico Migrant Smuggling© Moises Castillo / AP Mexico Migrant Smuggling

The Trump administration announced on Thursday that it has started sending asylum-seekers encountered near the border in Arizona to the Mexican city of Nogales as part of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the official name of the program.

Migrants returned to Nogales will be scheduled for court hearings at the immigration court in El Paso, Texas. Since the U.S. is not providing them transportation, these asylum-seekers will have to find a way to travel across hundreds of miles of territory and two Mexican border states to reach Ciudad Juárez, the city neighboring El Paso.

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The expansion of the Remain in Mexico program was part of a migration -enforcement deal struck last In addition, some migrants , facing long waits in Mexico as their immigration cases unfold in the United Now he said he had to endure two more months in Nuevo Laredo before his first court date.

"This choice presents enormous obstacles to asylum-seekers," Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, a policy counsel at the American Immigration Council, told CBS News. "Nogales is seven to eight hours from Ciudad Juárez and the journey for many can be dangerous, as it requires going through cartel-controlled territory."

A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson confirmed on Thursday that those returned to Mexico through Nogales, Arizona, "must provide their own transportation" to their hearings in El Paso, which are usually scheduled months apart. If they secure ground transportation, migrants would need to travel south to reach a highway that traverses a vast swath of remote areas in the Mexican border states of Sonora and Chihuahua, a trip that is about eight hours long.

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At one hearing in Herbert’ s court, a very young Guatemalan man named Marlon has given up on getting a lawyer and says he wants to go pro Migrants will have their hearings in these tents, but judges will not be there. Instead, they will preside by video from hundreds or thousands of miles away.

In expansion of Remain in Mexico program, authorities are moving some migrants to Nogales, Mexico, 350 miles from court hearings .

a close up of a map: The route of the eight-hour drive along the U.S.-Mexico border between Nogales and Ciudad Juárez.© Provided by CBS News The route of the eight-hour drive along the U.S.-Mexico border between Nogales and Ciudad Juárez.

Announcing the move on Thursday, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf praised the Remain in Mexico program as an "effective tool" in the administration's efforts to stem the flow of migrants heading to the southern border. Over the past half a year, apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border have plummeted. The administration has attributed the drop to restrictive policies like the MPP program, which has required more than 56,000 asylum-seeker to wait in Mexico for the duration of their U.S. immigration proceedings.

But the policy had drawn strong criticism from advocates who point to the squalid and often dangerous living conditions many migrants face as they wait for their U.S. court hearings in Mexican border cities plagued by crime and insecurity.

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" Remain in Mexico " migrants will have to travel 340 miles for U . S . hearings . Asylum-seekers sent to Nogales, Mexico, will have to find a way to make an 8-hour journey to attend court hearings in El Paso.

The most recent quake occurred eight miles south of Guayanilla at a shallow depth of four miles and was felt in the capital of San Juan and elsewhere in Puerto Rico, according to the U . S . Geological Survey. " Remain in Mexico " migrants will have to travel 340 miles for U . S . hearings .

Tens of thousands of asylum-seekers from Central America and other Latin American countries have been sent by the U.S. to cities like Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo, located in Tamaulipas, a Mexican border state the U.S. government warns Americans not to visit because of rampant criminal activity, including kidnappings, sexual assaults and murders.

a group of people standing on top of a ramp: In this October 31, 2019 photo, migrants rest at © Provided by CBS News In this October 31, 2019 photo, migrants rest at "La Roca," or The Rock shelter in Nogales, Mexico.

Migrants returned to Nogales will be in the state of Sonora, which the State Department designates a hub for crime, human trafficking and drug trade in its travel warning for the area. Like in many other parts of Mexico, warring cartels vie for control of the drug trade in Sonora.

Last month, six members of a Mormon community with dual American and Mexican citizenship, including three children, were ambushed and massacred in Sonora. Mexican authorities have suggested that a drug cartel was responsible for the killings.

In addition to the security concerns, Reichlin-Melnick, the immigration policy expert, said that having migrants returned to Nogales appear before a judge in El Paso further strains the resources of the immigration court in the Texas border city. According to Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), the El Paso immigration court has more than 16,300 "Remain in Mexico" cases — the highest of any court participating in the program.

"Rather than address the fact that MPP has crippled the El Paso immigration court, the Department of Homeland Security's response is to pile on more cases," Reichlin-Melnick said.

CBP says U.S.-Mexico border apprehensions continue to decline .
Customs and Border Protection said Thursday that border apprehensions dropped in December for the seventh month in a row. © John Moore Image: US Border Agents Patrol Rio Grande Valley As Migrant Crossings Drop U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 32,858 individuals crossing at the Southwest Border between ports of entry during the month of December, CBP said in a statement released Thursday morning. That number is down from 33,511 in November and 35,405 in October.Meanwhile, CBP determined that 7,762 individuals were deemed inadmissible after presenting themselves at legal ports of entry along the southern in December.

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