Migrant Protection Protocols: Who are they protecting?

On January 24, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it will be immediately implementing new immigration policies with regard to the U.S. – Mexico border. As early as Friday, January 25th, foreign nationals entering the United States through the Mexican border will be given a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court, and told to go back to Mexico to await their court hearing, even if they tell the border officials that they want to apply for Asylum.

This policy places Asylum seekers in considerable danger. Asylum is designed to protect those who fear returning to their home countries due to either past persecution or fear of future persecution on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. These people are afraid. They are showing up at the U.S. border, requesting asylum, and being told to wait in Mexico, that the United States cannot protect them. This even applies to those seeking Asylum from Mexico. Essentially, Asylum seekers are trying to escape to the United States for freedom and being told to wait with their attackers and persecutors for their court date, a day which can take months or even years to come.

Further, United States Asylum law requires that the applicant demonstrate their inability to relocate both within their home country, and to any country around the world. If Mexico is accepting asylum seekers, this may undercut the applicant’s ability to prove that there is no safe country for them. By the time they have their hearing in Immigration Court, they will have just spent months, or even years, in Mexico awaiting their trial and building a life. An argument that they cannot simply just go back to Mexico may prove difficult to overcome.

The Department of Homeland Security’s policy not only seeks to dismantle current Asylum law within the United States, but also disrupts the Asylum protections established by international authority.

If you or a family member or friend has recently entered the United States, or tried to enter the United States, especially if you are applying for Asylum, it is best to contact an immigration attorney. Asylum law is changing every day, and at the direction of the Department of Homeland Security, or as the result of a Tweet from President Trump, Asylum law can be turned upside-down in a matter of minutes.

To schedule a consultation with Samantha Chasworth, Esq. or with any of the other Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, please feel free to call the Firm at 201-670-0006 x107. Our main office is in Ridgewood, New Jersey. We also have an office located in Branchburg, New Jersey, and New York City. For more information about our Firm’s immigration and nationality law practice, please feel free to visit our website at https://www.visaserve.com or to send us an e-mail at info@visaserve.com.