Judge Rules Migrants Get Attorney Access Before Going Back to Mexico
Written by Luis Miguel
A ruling issued by a federal judge says that a Guatemalan family seeking asylum in America must have access to an attorney before being sent to Mexico to await the resolution of their case.
The temporary restraining order by George W. Bush-appointee Judge Dana Sabraw of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California could have far-reaching consequences for U.S. immigration policy if applied more broadly.
Judge Sabraw scheduled a December 13 hearing to determine whether his ruling should apply to all asylum seekers who crossed into the United States illegally and are sent to Mexico through California to wait for their next appearance in court.
It was in January that the Trump administration instituted a policy of having asylum seekers wait in Mexico. Since then, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has sent back over 55,000 people through California and Texas.
In a report last month, Homeland Security called the policy
“an indispensable tool in addressing the ongoing crisis at the southern border and restoring integrity to the immigration system.”
The policy, known as the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP), was introduced by then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as a
“humanitarian approach that will help to end the exploitation of our generous immigration laws.”
According to DHS, in the last three months of 2018 alone, the department encountered an average of 2,000 illegal and inadmissible aliens per day at the southern border.
Prior to MPP, the surge in illegal border crossings by migrants hoping to gain asylum status (despite nine out of 10 asylum claims from Northern Triangle countries being for non-meritorious reasons like economic motives) was resulting in an explosion of illegal migration, with crossers accompanied by minors being released into the United States, many of whom never appeared again for their asylum proceedings.
But Judge Sabraw’s ruling could impact MPP’s enforcement if expanded to all asylum cases. He said the Guatemalan family in question must have access to their attorney before and during an interview with American officials to first determine if Mexico is safe enough for them to await their court date.
The case began after American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties sued the federal government on behalf of Guatemalan family. The family claims to have suffered extortion, death threats, and rape at the hands of masked men in government uniforms in Mexico.
They also told an immigration judge in San Diego that they feared going back to Tijuana due to a shootout that occurred outside their temporary shelter.
Sabraw said the family was likely to suffer “irreparable harm” at the border. The judge is currently also presiding over a case to ostensibly reunite thousands of migrant children separated from parents upon crossing the border illegally.
Even if Judge Sabraw’s ruling is extended to all asylum cases, there is one possible silver lining for immigration patriots:
Many asylum seekers are unable to afford an attorney and the government is not obligated to provide them with one.
According to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, only 1.3 percent of asylum seekers who were sent to wait in Mexico by the end of June had lawyers.
Of course, open borders advocates may still find a way to provide migrants with legal representation.
As the New York Times noted in December of last year, lawyers with the George Soros-backed National Lawyers Guild were aiding migrants traveling in the infamous Central American caravan, explaining U.S. law to them en route to shelters and even escorting them across the American border.
It is not clear whether the Guatemalan family at the center of Judge Sabraw’s MPP ruling is paying for the attorney out of pocket or with the help of a benefactor. But whether they have their own money or rely on the help of wealthier friends, the question remains why they do not leverage these financial resources to stay in a safer area of Mexico while they await their court appearance.
After all, a person can just as easily be assaulted and robbed in America as in Mexico if one is in the wrong part of town.
The author of this article lived as an expat in Tijuana for three years. Any resident of the city knows that the neighborhoods right on the border are notoriously crime-ridden. But a few minutes’ bus ride will take you to neighborhoods that are not only safer, but offer cheaper lodging than the border-adjacent downtown.
Of course, common sense is not an asset when the true goal isn’t really a family’s welfare, but pulling on Americans’ heartstrings in pursuit of a political agenda.
Luis Miguel is a writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.
Courtesy of The New American