United States Must Stop ‘Remain in Mexico’ Asylum Hearings Amid COVID-19 Risks

Please see below statement from Refugees International Senior U.S. Advocate Yael Schacher:

“Despite the current national emergency involving COVID-19, immigration court hearings for asylum seekers in the Remain in Mexico program continue. Families are crowding into courtrooms in San Diego, El Paso, Laredo, and Brownsville, with no precautions taken to protect them. Access to counsel was already so limited for those subject to this policy—and now it is essentially impossible since attorneys fear risk of exposure. Judges, attorneys, court personnel, and asylum seekers themselves are at risk. 

These hearings must stop for the duration of the crisis. Asylum seeking families with scheduled hearings should be paroled into the United States—not sent back to Mexico to possibly spread the virus in overcrowded and ill-equipped shelters and border camps.”

For more information or to schedule an interview with Yael, please contact Sarah Sheffer at ssheffer@refugeesinternational.org or 202 540 7029.