Inside the tent immigration courts that turn away thousands of asylum seekers
By Editor - Thu Jan 16, 1:46 am
Under the “Remain in Mexico” policy, into which House Democrats have launched an investigation, just 0.2% of cases result in reliefUnderneath a white tarpaulin roof, behind razor wire and barking police dogs, Wendy Ramírez Penosa and her two teenage sons stood before an immigration judge sitting 30 miles (48km) away from them. Through tears, they begged the court to keep them safe.“My children have been threatened with kidnap,” Ramírez said through a translator on Monday afternoon, describing threats both in Mexico and in Honduras, her home country. “They said I would be forced to work in a brothel.”“I don’t want to be taken back to Mexico. They killed my father [in Honduras]. That is why we are fleeing.”Ramírez was pleading her case at one of Donald Trump’s newly built tent immigration courts, nestled a few feet from the US-Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas. These makeshift courts, constructed last September, have been inaccessible to the public, but play a central role in the president’s “Remain in Mexico” (Migrant Protection Protocols) policy, which advocates describe as an attempt to curtail the right to asylum in the US by sending migrants back to Mexico as their cases are processed.Of the 56,000 cases brought under MPP only 117 or 0.2% of cases have so far led to asylum relief for applicants, according to data from a monitoring project at Syracuse University.