Asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border make their cases in improvised immigration tent courts, where they appear before judges via video. The video tent courts have raised due-process concerns among immigration advocates, reports the Wall Street Journal. In August, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) moved $155 million from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds to “establish and operate temporary Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) Immigration Hearing Facilities along the Southwest border.”
According to Forbes, since September, asylum-seekers wait in Mexico before they can plead their case to a U.S. judge who appears on a teleconferenced TV screen in a makeshift tent court, which has restricted access:
A September report by the ACLU called attention to the limited access advocates, journalists and lawyers have to asylum seekers and argued that the latest protocols were a way “to make it so difficult and dangerous to apply for asylum that people will simply give up and return to the persecution they fled.”
Immigration officials have not allowed the press to observe hearings in these new facilities, citing security concerns.
The new Migrant Protection Protocol program sends migrants who enter the U.S. illegally, or who appear at official places of entry along the U.S. border seeking asylum, to return to Mexico to await an American court date. Immigrants claiming asylum under MPP policies must come and go across the border under U.S. custody to attend their hearings the courts in the program, located in San Diego and Texas. Prior to MPP, most of these migrants were released inside the U.S. to wait for a court date.
Immigration attorney Mario Godoy and the experienced attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Cook and Dupage Counties in Illinois can help you with your immigration case. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us at 855-554-6369.