Trump Can Keep Sending Asylum Seekers to Mexico While They Await Immigration Hearings, Court Rules

Wednesday, May 8, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Tim Marcin
May 8, 2019

A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that the Trump administration can return asylum seekers to Mexico while they await immigration court hearings.

The decision reversed a previous injunction that would’ve kept asylum seekers from being sent to Mexico during the ongoing legal challenge to the policy, which is called the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP). The case could ultimately end up before the Supreme Court. The decision on Tuesday — made by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — could allow the Trump administration to potentially expand the policy beyond its current enforcement in cities in Texas and California.

Mexican immigration officials said that, through May 1, 3,267 Central American migrants has been sent to Mexico under the so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy. Advocacy groups have argued that migrants could face dangerous conditions when they’re sent to wait in Mexico.

“Asylum seekers are being put at serious risk of harm every day that the forced return policy continues,” Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in response to Tuesday’s decision. “Notably, two of the three judges that heard this request found that there are serious legal problems with what the government is doing, so there is good reason to believe that ultimately this policy will be put to a halt.”

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