Immigration supporters are suing the Department of Homeland Security and Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen – and other US persons and agencies – on the "Migrant Protection Protocols" initiative as soon as implemented by the Trump administration, forcing some asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while awaiting immigration court dates. Many refer to the initiative as in the "Stay in Mexico" policy.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union have officially challenged politics on Thursday in a lawsuit called Innovation Law Lab et al. v. Nielsen et al. The complaint supports "Protocols for the protection of migrants" violates the law on immigration and nationality, the law on administrative procedures and various international human rights laws.
The case represents 11 asylum seekers and six organizations influenced by politics. The 11 asylum seekers – 10 men and a woman – come from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala and from different families, said a person close to the seed.
"Migrant protection protocols" is perhaps the biggest change in immigration policy implemented by the Trump administration. When it was announced in December, it immediately attracted the criticism of the immigration defenders who called it "a disaster due to the trial".
Before the December announcement, asylum seekers were allowed to live in the United States while wearing an ankle monitor while waiting for immigration court dates.
According to the new plan, some asylum seekers crossing the San Ysidro border, a San Diego legal checkpoint immediately north of the US-Mexico border, are being tried by immigration officials and then returned to Tijuana, according to a Department for internal security (DHS) official. They receive a number of 800 to check the status of their case, as well as a return date for when the asylum application will be processed.
According to an information sheet published last month by DHS, the program applies to "aliens arriving in the United States on land from Mexico (including those stopped along the border) that are not clearly eligible and have been placed in removal proceedings" .
Politics has been launched in Tijuana and San Diego with the intention that it will eventually be adopted at check points across the southern border.
The policy aims to respond to concerns that asylum seekers can not attend court hearings, according to National Security Secretary Nielsen.
"The aliens trying to convince the system to enter illegally in our country will no longer disappear in the United States, where many will skip their court dates," Nielsen wrote in a press release in December, when the policy was announced.
Nielsen said in a Congressional testimony in December, when he announced "Protocols for the protection of migrants" that asylum seekers "more than not" fail to present themselves on their dates. And President Trump said in January that only two percent of asylum seekers make their dates. However, the Justice Department shows that 89% of asylum seekers were present for court hearings in the 2017 fiscal year.
Some 93,000 migrants have applied for asylum in the United States in the 2018 fiscal year. According to the new policy, many of these immigrants would be sent to Mexico. But some officials have said that the country is not equipped to handle them.
Tonatiuh Guillén, Commissioner of Mexico's National Migration Institute, a federal agency, said at a December press conference that Mexico has neither the operational nor legal capacity to receive asylum seekers that the United States was planning to send on its territory. "We can not receive them," he said, according to a CBS News translation.
However, the spokesman for the Mexico Committee for Foreign Relations stated at a press conference last month that, while his government did not agree with the new protocol of the United States, he would comply.
The ACLU and SPLC have filed their lawsuit in the Northern District of California.