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Immigration Law

DHS 'Red Team' Rips Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' Program

Hamed Aleaziz, BuzzFeed News, Nov. 14, 2019

"A team of senior Department of Homeland Security officials who examined a controversial Trump administration program to keep asylum-seekers in Mexico found that US border officials have not only prevented immigrants from making a claim for protection at the border with asylum officers but appeared to have pressured the officers to deny them entry into the US, according to a draft government report obtained by BuzzFeed News recommending significant and wide-ranging improvements to the program. ... The “Red Team” recommendations call on agencies within DHS, including CBP, to provide immigration court hearing notices in multiple languages, improve language access for immigrants and ensure that they understand the “questions asked and can make informed decisions,” standardize procedures for screening vulnerable populations like children and the disabled, and clarify the role of CBP officers in the process.  To that end, the program requires immigrants to affirmatively tell CBP officers that they fear for their safety in Mexico in order to have a chance of avoiding being returned to the country. In those cases, CBP officers should refer immigrants to be interviewed by US Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum officers.  The recommendations, however, indicate that asylum-seekers have not been allowed to be interviewed by asylum officers and the officers have faced pressure to rule against those seeking protection."