Migrant Protection Program to Expand along US Southern Border
WESLACO – A backlog in immigration court is expected to grow.
A federal program available at certain points along the border is set to expand.
The Migrant Protection Protocols essentially makes some asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their cases proceed in U.S. immigration courts.
The program was initially implemented in places such as El Paso.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to journalist Robert Moore, who has been covering the policy since it rolled out earlier this year.
Not every asylum seeker is sent back under this program.
Moore says the majority have been families who are asked to wait in Mexico.
Asylum seekers selected to be part of this program initially received court dates a few weeks out.
“The people being sent back today in El Paso are getting court dates for July of 2020,” Moore said. “So, this is one of the big issues coming up. People will be asked to stay in Mexico for more than a year before their initial court hearing.”
On the U.S. side of the border, there’s a pile up in immigration courts.
Moore explained one of the effects they’re seeking is many asylum seekers are abandoning their asylum claims altogether.