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Supreme Court greenlights ending Remain in Mexico program – what now for immigrants in Texas?

San Antonio, TX – Last week, the Supreme Court handed the Biden Administration a rare victory, allowing it to put an end to the controversial Remain in Mexico immigration program.

Officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the Remain in Mexico policy was introduced by the Trump administration as a means of stemming the flow of illegal immigrants at the country’s southern border.

Under the MPP, tens of thousands of illegal immigrants seeking asylum in the US were sent back to Mexico to await their Immigration Court hearing. They had to wait six months on average, often in horrendous conditions in the facilities erected by the Mexican government along the border. Immigrants were also deprived of contact with their families, let alone an immigration lawyer to help them with their case. Immigration advocates have long criticized the policy, arguing that immigrants stuck in Mexican border facilities have faced kidnappings and other dangers.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision, President Biden can terminate the program right away, but unwinding down the process can take some time. Also, it is to be expected that southern states like Texas and Missouri will try other legal options to prevent the administration from ending Remain in Mexico.

4 arrested in connection to the San Antonio tragedy

The Supreme Court’s decision came only four days after the shocking discovery of the bodies of 53 immigrants inside an abandoned semi-truck near San Antonio. Four people were arrested in connection with the tragedy in San Antonio. Among them, the driver of the semi, who left the migrants to die of dehydration and heat exhaustion in sweltering temperatures. Apparently, the driver, Hector Zamorano was high on amphetamines and is now recovering in hospital. 

Some immigration experts have blamed the San Antonio incident on the country’s strict border policies, including the Remain in Mexico program. 

The Supreme Court’s decision paves the way for the Biden Administration to adopt a more orderly immigration process at the border,” says David Bier, the associate director of immigration policy at the libertarian Cato Institute, quoted by Time magazine. “‘Remain in Mexico’ was a failure. It dealt with asylum seekers so inhumanely that rather than ‘remaining in Mexico,’ they repeatedly crossed the border illegally.”

What does ending Remain in Mexico mean for immigrants in Texas?

When the Remain in Mexico officially ends, illegal immigrants in Texas won’t have to fear they’ll be deported when they apply for asylum.

According to the law, foreign nationals can apply for asylum when they’re apprehended at the border or within one year from entering US territory. 

Under the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT), no individual may be forcibly sent to their home country if they face persecution, torture, imprisonment, or execution on grounds such as: 

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Political opinion
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • Nationality

By being allowed to stay in Texas awaiting their hearing, immigrants have a chance to seek legal counsel. An experienced San Antonio immigration lawyer can help them gather proof of the persecution they may face in their home country. 

If you want to apply for asylum in the state of Texas, get in touch with a seasoned lawyer at the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen in San Antonio and let them help you stay in the US and obtain legal status. 

Contact info:

Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen

206 East Locust Street

San Antonio, TX 78212

Phone: (210) 769-3273

 

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