Judge will decide if thousands of migrants waiting for asylum in Mexico do so in the US

Judge Dana Sabraw of the federal court in San Diego will decide from December on whether migrants who have fears based on experiences they lived in Mexico can stay in the United States without being sent back to the Mexican border, confirmed the rights lawyer the Immigrants of the ACLU, Mónika Langarica.

Sabraw is the judge who ordered in June last year that the US government reunify migrant families that had illegally separated at the border.

This month the magistrate ruled in favor of a class action lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and two other organizations, and gave a “temporary restraining order” for a family from Guatemala who was outraged in Mexico to remain in San Diego , without returning to Mexico, and have access to immigration lawyers.

It is the first time that a judge orders to suspend the program known as “staying in Mexico” that has already sent some 55,000 migrants to wait for hearings and decisions in their border cities in California.

The case of the Guatemalan family "is a triumph for migrants and is of the utmost importance, because it can set a precedent for other similar cases," Langarica said in an interview with La Opinión.

"In December the judge will hear arguments and can extend this temporary restraining order of this Guatemalan family for all similar cases," said lawyer Langarica.

The Guatemalan family, who already left San Diego to meet relatives in another place in the United States, fled their country when the oldest of five children, a 17-year-old teenager, was a victim of rape and her assailants They threatened death if he denounced, but, when passing through Mexico, the family was the victim of three assaults, assaults and harassment.

"After having to flee from a traumatic situation and death threat, having to endure three traumatic situations in Mexico, it was more than enough for the judge to decide that they should not return south of the border," said the lawyer, "a only those experiences would have been enough. ”

In Mexico the family was assaulted by armed strangers, then uniformed and armed individuals forced everyone to undress and later, already in Tijuana, the family was exposed to a surprise shooting.

Langarica said the magnitude of experiences like these is devastating for parents who have to protect children four, nine, ten, twelve and 17 years old.

According to unofficial calculations, on the border of Baja California with California, in Tijuana and Mexicali, there are more than 13 thousand migrants awaiting asylum hearings and resolutions, and some families have testified that they have been victims of kidnapping and deception.

This weekend at least a press report realized that drug cartels began to exploit the vulnerability of migrants to “stay in Mexico,” or Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), as the Trump administration calls to the program that he imposed unilaterally since the end of January.

Attorney Langarica said that a first decision by Judge Sabraw regarding the Guatemalan family was essential for the family to remain in the United States, to have legal representation.

He explained that the decision taken from December on the judge on fears founded not to return to Mexico should also count on granting legal representation for other similar cases.


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