With the increase of migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border, the current administration met migrants with excessive force and with policies that have placed those seeking refuge and protection in harm's way. The Trump Administration implemented the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as Remain in Mexico, on January 24, 2019 as a deterrent to migration flows and as a form of systemic discrimination towards a specific group of migrants, those from Spanish-speaking countries. This policy violates the non-refoulement commitment as set forth by international laws and hinders a migrants' access to legal representation.
The following analysis looks at how the journey towards seeking asylum in the US has become more onerous due to policies the US government has orchestrated during the last year, specifically since the enactment of MPP. The migrant’s experience is shared through observations of immigration court hearings in San Diego conducted by AFSC staff and volunteers. A total of 483 cases were observed from June 2019 to January 2020. In addition, partners in Mexico and court observers offer reflections to provide an additional perspective into the effects of an unjust and inhumane immigration system.