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tv   U.S.- Mexico Border Discussion at Migration Policy Institute Conference  CSPAN  October 24, 2019 4:51am-6:12am EDT

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>> and to see so many legal professionals advocates, students in the audience. and we are looking forward to a robust discussion among our three expert panelists and a very strong question and answer period. so i'll start, just basically with a few remarks. my name is anna gallagher, executive director of the catholic legal immigration network and we are an affiliate organization with over 370 members in 49 states across the united states. i always like to say we're sort of the sleeping giant. we are a quiet organization. folks might not know our name as quickly as they know the aclu or other
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organizations. however, we do a lot of the groundwork. the support and represent lower income immigrants across the united states. we do, we help build their programs. we train them. we do advocacy. we also have a religious immigration services division represents and helps bring sisters, brothers, priests, clergy to work in immigrant communities. and in the last year, we added
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our litigation. we up, increase our litigation quite a bit and have been involved as organizational plaintiffs or have been directly litigating and suing the united states government for many of the policies we will discuss today and especially on this panel. so we're very happy to be here. one important thing i'd like to share with you is our work at the border. we recently started with all the asylum project in august of this year. we generally do not do operations area the clinic does all the building, supporting, accompanying and advocating area that we don't do operations but when there's a great need and we are asked to do so we step in getting the great need at the border after seeing thousands of people
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stranded without legal counsel we decided to start and watch and asylum projects. we are working closely in collaboration with diet and you'll hear more about that from sue. and this project involves providing know your rights talks to the thousands of immigrants, forced migrants in juarez, consultations to identify potential options for really and how we can represent them. we also are doing representation. we're creating a pipeline from agency, teaching about rights, consultation, identifying attorneys in the us to take these cases so i would urge you to go to our website and look at that project and also volunteer. we are starting to invite and have attorneys down and work with my staff down there. with the migrants to help them with their cases so please go to our website, sign up as a volunteer. support and share with your other folds. so that the established, what we're going to do is to move forward now with the panelists, what we intend to do is to talk to you about the origin of some of these policies we will talk about race issues. when talking about these origins, we're going to talk about nuts and bolts, what it looks like on the ground and we're going to talk about the human face of it. while i was preparing for this panel we had a call. and i asked joel rose who is our reporter on the panel what struck him most when he started reporting on this issue and he talked about the complexity area so i have to share with
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you after 30+ years doing this work, i wake up every day, there's new things happening and there's plenty that i don't understand so i think we're all in this together. hopefully we can clarify some of these things for today. and share our experiences with you. so just moving on to our panelists, i'd like to introduce you to dylan corbett, he is the founding director of the whole border institute. which is a research
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policy work leadership and development action organization. unique to the united states and mexico border regions. the project turned for in may of this year. dylan brings a unique perspective to this panel and that he worked in washington dc and now he's on the border so he sees it from both sides. and he will talk to you about why the whole border institute was started and share his experiences along the border and talk about it in terms of also the recent el
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paso shootings. we have kenny from hyatt, i always mispronounce it. from ise, she's director of the border and asylum network. she has been working, she and her team have been working this past year on developing processes along the border. purposes for the fourth migrants. and she also puts fellows in different places along the border to assist the migrants here. she's going to share her role, why they do the work and she's going to explain to us not and bolts. what is happening on the border. a category facing the migrants, these procedures and what we can do and are doing. and finally we have joel rose, immigration reporter for npr. he puts a human face on these complex issues. he's relatively new to the immigration sphere anything quite busy so i'm looking forward to hearing old story and with that i'm going to pass it over to dylan to start our discussion. >> thank you, then honor to be here and to receive the invitation to be able to speak with you and i'm really honored to be among friends and colleagues on the panel and with my friends in clinic and thank you for the work you're doing at the border. been great to collaborate on that and it's so important to work you all
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are doing. i also understand that it's, it's an exclusive club night, everyone is invited to see. so i'm honored to be able to have something to say to you i do want to talk a little bit about and i thought it might be appropriate to talk about the situation in el paso. i come from a border institute, we work in a binational way. hard to talk about these immigration issues without acknowledging what happens back on august 3, just two months now. so on august 3 as you know there was someone who drove 650 miles another part of texas, a faraway place to come to el paso texas. and the lives of 22 latinos. and both will for us right now are still rash, the
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physical wounds, the psychological wounds, the spiritual wounds. and so we're still dealing with that. but if anything was made clear because of what happened on august third, with that much and a and i use the word my hands on purpose to cause of the historical reverberations with what's gone on before with the killing and the persecution and torture and lynching latinos on the border. this has been going on for a while, there's historical precedent. if there's anything made clear on that day was the same politics of exclusion, the same policies of the xena phobia that are driving the policies that we're seeing on the border in some way directly or indirectly we can have an argument about that but that same spirit of xena phobia drove what happened on that day. and there are parallels. and there are residences between what happened and what we're seeing on the border. so i was going to talk about the different policies and different changes, different things we're seeing on the border. just as we are on august 3, we're dazed and confused, wounded by all these
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changes we're seeing in rapid succession. it's like being at the end of the firehose but if there's one thing that i would say from our perspective on the border need to keep in mind, whether it's running in mexico, whether it's sending people to different countries, whether it's the deployment of the military, policies to make people wait in mexico because their metered or being turned back on the bridge, etc., at the end of the day the only policy of the us government on the border with respect to migration is simply to turn. it's deterrence at all costs. and it's deterrence whether that is deadly or not. people are dying on the us-mexico border. people are dying in the custody of the us government. on the border. and that deterrence has a couple faces. think of it as a coin. on the
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one side it's criminalization. and we've seen it's been going on for some time now. but the us government is simply criminalizing more and more people convincing other americans that we have to fear that people are coming to the border to the point where legal asylum-seekers, asylum is effectively over at the border. asylum occurs are treated as criminals whether there thrown back to a dangerous city like transport. on the other side of the coin you have what we see every day on the border the militarization of the border. the hardening of the border. more agents, more money, more resources. the militarization of our committee with checkpoints and helicopters and walls, etc. etc. all the things effectively we have now a wall on the us-mexico border whether the wall policy, locate or a physical wall which is being built in our community. those are the two sides of the coin. and their historical precedents of that too. the reality is this has been going on for some time. and it's been an evil bible congress and the administration, the white house. it's been enabled by
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democrats and republicans. there is a categorical difference between what's going on then and now with the trump administration and it's this. it's simply the rat colony with which these policies are implemented and embraced and the cruelty with which their implemented area that's the difference. the toolbox is there and it's been there for a long time but it's the rat colony and it's the cruelty. and that's why it's so deadly. and again, none of this is responding to actual policy at the border. there's simply no argument to be made that what we're doing is policies of criminalization and these policies of militarization are effective, sensible, rational policies from any point of view. democratically, they just don't make any sense and so because of that, it's impossible for us not to see
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and this is what was clarified. if there's any doubt on the border on august it's impossible for us not to see these are driven by a politics of fear, by a politics of hate and the xena phobia and it has become deadly. and not just for migrants anymore. but for people in el paso and it has to stop. (applause) >> thank you dylan and before we move on, we spoke a little bit when we started about why the hope border institute was created. i'd like you to share a little bit about what we talked about. >> the hope border institute as anna said we turned for over the summer and we were driven by what happened in 2014. again in 2014 you saw the rise of the arrivals from the us-mexico border. so the desire for the community was there were a lot of
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things that happened at that time, humanitarian response just like the influx of folks coming to the us-mexico border. lots of humanitarian assistance, lots of outpouring of volunteers but we realize what we needed to do as a community was to be able to work in a binational way across borders to make sure that our aspirations, our hope, our imagination, our vision was implemented in places like washington dc because these policies which are affecting the us-mexico border and again, this has gone on for a long time whether it's austin texas or mexico city or new york city, wall street or washington dc. the policies that come out of those places affects our community and often we don't have a voice, we have no way to have a role. we're not at the decision-making table so we do education, advocacy and policy work as we believe solutions to these problems ought to come from the border and if our border is going to
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be affected coming from far off places like washington dc and we deserve a place at the table so that's why we're here. >> now we will move on to sue who was going to talk to us about her work with hias, what they're doing and the details of the work and what's going on on at the border >> thank you
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anna. so hias you may be wondering, i didn't know they were at the border. that seems strange. hias has been around since 1881 and we've always done asylum but in the last year we've decided to expand our asylum work and focus on the border and that was made possible by a strong by the american jewish community. they stepped up and funded this work and all our work is been so far on the us-mexico border funded by jewish unity foundations, jewish donors. so i managed all of hias'programs on both sides of the border currently as the director of border and asylum network. on the us side we started with a program called the hyatt border fellows
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whereby we fund full-time attorneys to work with organizations on the ground at the border, to serve more asylum-seekers. one of our border fellows is here with us today, palazzo. he's here with the immigrant advocacy center in el paso. we had another fellow in san diego and were going to be adding more fellows as well. of the border fellows project is also to support pro bono delegations of attorneys from around the country to travel to our partner organizations to spend a week with them to add more capacities and serve more asylum-seekers. you can find out about volunteer opportunities. most exciting recently has been in june, in august we opened an office in juarez. the first hyatt mexico office. we have, we are funded by unhcr mexico and it's currently a legal office only to mexico and attorneys to paralegals and we work closely with the clinic staff on the ground in el paso to do the know you're right stations, one on one screenings and refer clients to people like nico, our border fellows on the other side of the border to try to get someone out of mpp for example. that ought to represent them in their full asylum case. we are expanding that work, unh cr has asked us to submit a proposal to work and also tijuana, mexicali and montenegro so my next one we hope to be operational in those locations and we're also expanding beyond legal services to include services for mental health psychosocial support and services for survivors of gender-based violence in all four of those locations. so i've been to the border a lot in the last year. i think i this is my sixth time and i'm not
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the one doing the work that i'm the one working with our partners, working with the lawyers and implementing the programs. and i also communicate on a regular basis with the lawyers that are down there doing the work and there's a facebook group called migrants persecutions protocol. which is what the mpp should be called instead of migrant protection protocol. and i asked them yesterday on facebook what's the number one thing they would like this audience to know and the responses were the situation is worse than you think. it's inhumane. people human rights are completely disregarded. just how dangerous it is. people are kidnapped virtually every day from right outside the immigration office where they are dropped off. even for lawyers, one lawyer mentioned she's looking into kidnapping
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insurance now because it's so dangerous. particularly in the area of the border across from seville and mcallen. it's so dangerous for all involved. as someone on the first panel mentioned, human rights search recently reported there has been 340 public accounts of rape, kidnapping and violent assault but that's underreported, it's probably double that. people
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sleeping in streets, no clean water and even when they can get into a shelter, a shelter quality varies rightly. so it's a very dire, it's more dire than you think it is is what they wanted me to let you know. and also in terms of the lawyers, there's a complete assault on due process. there is no access to counsel which is most obvious one. on the mtas, the notice to appear, the addresses for the migrants are fake addresses. usually it's for a shelter that they never even been to and some mtas are listing facebook as the address for the migrants. there are no longer going to the interpreters provided, they're going to be shown a video explaining their rights but no actual interpreters do it during the hearing. and then there's the tennis courts that are happening in brownsville and the judges that are only appearing by a tv screen and so they don't have the opportunity to judge the body language of the migrants and really be able to assess their credibility. so the order of the day is chaos and confusion and it's designed to be that way. it's designed to be cruel. and there's no normal area sometimes people ask only a normal day. there is no normal and again, it's designed to be that way because everything
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unpredictable i'm going to do my best to walk you through the process. this may be elementary but i figure there's a lot of people here who don't know the nuts and bolts of how things work. but starting with metering, metering is the process by which you instead of being able to present yourself at the border and say i have a fear of persecution in my home country, you are then instead put on a list calling metering list or you have to wait your turn to do that. and so that started in april 2018 and everyone has to go on the meaningless putting mexicans. so they're trying to flee the country in which their being persecuted and told no get on this list, you have to wait along with everybody else and every port of entry is different. every port of entry handles it in a different way. there's a different way that it is run you. in tijuana the weight from the metering list is about six months
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right now. so that's just to present yourself. and water has it's about 2 to 3 months. some statistics and there's 22,000 people on the metering list. in the various ports. i've been hearing from mike sass in warez that often they go through 50 names in a day even though only 10 are being let in because so many people are not there. they get on the list and then they either cross you iregularly as you would say without inspection or they travel to other parts of mexico. currently you may have heard about the situation in juarez with mexican asylum-seekers being camped out around the two bridges. there's about 1700, the number is being reported vary but they are mexican asylum-seekers and the reason they are camped out at the bridge is because of this unpredictability. one day the mpk
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came out and said we can take 50 mexicans and then that the mexicans got to go in and no one from the regular meeting was allowed to go in that day. this was reported by my managing attorney in warez and so word around and everyone's like i'm not going to leave. what if they do that again quest and mark on going to camp myself right here though they won't go to the shelter because of this unpredictability. and of course a very dangerous situation because all the criminals know exactly where people are. so once you do get your number called after this several month wait, if you express a fear of persecution in your home country, you are either allowed in and you're detained or you are put into mpp so the mexicans and people from non-spanish-sp- eaking countries are generally put into expedited removal and then go through the credible fear or reasonable fear of process and the tension and then perhaps can be comfortable or bonded out. but everyone from spanish-speaking countries other than mexico are subject to mpp and
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i keep saying that the migrant protection protocol, that the remaining mexico policy in operation. so again, more confusion because not everyone is subject to mpp gets put in mpp. it's very random. sometimes people that would be subject to mpp are put into detention. often this is where family separation is coming back again family separation 2.0 is what it call it often when a family units, they are a mother, father and two kids and perhaps the father is allowed in and he's detained and the mother and children have to wait in mexico or vice versa, that happens literally every day. there's other ways that family separation is happening as well. niko was telling me about a client that he
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helped him guatemala with his two-year-old son was taken away from him because he had a wet diaper. and cdp alleged that he was a neglectful father. so then the child was then considered an unaccompanied minor because of this so-called neglect. so when you hear that family separation is no longer happening, don't take that at face value. then when, what does it mean to put in mpp. you're given an nta, a notice to appear at a court date on it, that's usually several months away and your exported to the bridge and then mexican migration takes you over, take you back, dropped it on the street. and on the new mexico side and you are there and have to wait until your court hearing or whatever's on your mta. they're supposed to be exceptions to that in terms of vulnerable populations that are not supposed to be put in mpp, unaccompanied children and people with health risks. in reality, people are put into mvp that fall into those exceptions every day. there's
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also an option to ask for a non-refolding interview and that means you are afraid to return to mexico to wait until your court hearing. but you have to ask for it, you're never asked affirmatively are you afraid to go back to mexico so either you have to wait until your hearing which again is three or four months out affirmatively say to the judge at a point when the judge says you have any questions because they don't ever asked affirmatively or you have to bring an attorney like our border fellows helped by our staff in juarez to accompany you to the bridge and say this person has a fear of return for x reason. you have to prepare a packet, it has to be evidence and then perhaps you can get a nonperformance interview but that interview is shrouded in secrecy. no attorneys are allowed to participate. used to let us listen in, no more. there conducted by phone. by an asylum officer in arlington currently. but it's very hard to win these interviews, less than one percent of people that asked for a
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nonreformant interview actually are granted it and allowed to be taken off of mpd which means if you're taken off of mpp, there then detained and put into removal proceedings. the people attempted to be successful in getting out of mpp in the past have been lgbt individuals and pregnant women, particularly after the second trimester but niko was telling me even lgtb individuals whereas before they use to let them in as a matter of course and taken off mpp, now they have to have been a victim of some sort of crime, some sort of violence for they will even consider taking them off of mpp so it's very hard to get out of mpp. we now have this third country transit band that we are dealing with this as anyone who
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entered after july 16 has to have sought asylum in a transit country and been denied before they can apply for asylum in the united states and that applies to everyone along the southern border except mexicans. and in terms of how it is playing out so far, there was no guidance given to the judges been hit or miss, some judges are tossing the football and said we will deal with that at the individual hearing or there's been a lot of varying responses. i've heard of judges that asked, there was a friend of mine was an attorney in el paso that happened to be in san antonio when there was a hearing in brownsville, and he asked her randomly, will you write a brief on this because i don't know what to do. and then he ended up applying to the third country, it's a mess. and then the last thing i wanted to just
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touch on was this idea of iom, the international organization for migration is being funded by the department of state of the united states to provide assisted voluntary return. from these border cities. and it's been about 3000 people so far from honduras, guatemala and el salvador that have been provided with three tricks or claims to go back to their home countries and those of us who are advocates question the voluntariness of this because after waiting for months and months and months, to even present your claim, your put in mpp and your three months out and by the way there's more than one hearing. there's at least three, usually four or more before you have your individual hearing and those are several months apart so you're talking a long time people are waiting. they get tired, they get desperate and so that's why we question how voluntary is this really and our people being returned?
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advocates feel they are. when it does become time for the hearing. the judge will order them removed at center the get a removal order which will bar them from ever seeking asylum in the u.s. again. they're not being advised of this. they're not being told the you know this will happen easily without going to court and try to terminate your case? don't get me started trying to terminate cases. that's a complete mess. no judges know-how to quite do it. dhs objects. again it's a mess. the last thing, one thing our office is doing and other offices in mexico are going to do is sort of an alternative option is people can apply for asylum or humanitarian visas in mexico. that's what our
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attorneys are helping them with as a potential option. it's not an option for everyone but more and more people are seeking that option and we are representing them. mexico uses the cartagena definition so it's a bit of an easier standard and it's more likely with some of the claims or seeing some from central america they will receive asylum in mexico wears in the united states they would likely be denied. i talked a long time and i will stop. >> you covered a lot of complicated stuff, very eloquently so thank you, sue. i still get confused about the categories and who's in the categories you guess it does change almost every day. joel, we'd like to hear from you as you been reporting on the front line and you're talking to people and asking them about their experiences both at the border of italy in central america. so please share.
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>> first of all thank you very much for having me. as you said earlier and i'm pretty new on this beat, when i started three years ago it would been very difficult to picture me on this stage because i i knew pretty much nothing about immigration or immigration law. a little bit about daca that i covered as an npr correspondent in new york but essentially i did not know what i did not know. however, i was at donald trump's campaign announcement in 2015 when he came down the golden escalator and describe mexicans as rapists, as we heard on the first panel. i knew his rhetoric on immigration was going to be different than previous presidents. and he had run on the platform cracking down on illegal immigration but i was pretty surprised how quickly he started rolling out policies aim not just the illegal immigration but at legal immigration and asylum. basically i had to learn on the job a lot of things and tested
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the patience of my sources, some of whom are in this room, so thank you to them. this is basically along with saying i cannot give you the long view about what's happening but i have been to the border this year. i've been to arizona in the spring and el paso more recently in the summer. i'm going to talk a few minutes about the migrants i've met during my reporting mostly in war as and his story separately stuck with me and what they're facing at the border right now. there is not a moat with snakes and aligators but there's this series of overlapping legal barriers that sue describe really well. largely remain in mexico are the migrant protection particles and also despite the level of third country asylum in that are making it very difficult and no impossible for most migrants to access asylum. let me serve with exempla family separation is still happening. sue mentioned that a little bit. there's a great aunt that i met
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at a shelter in juarez had come from guatemala with two curatorship in raising for more than a decade. she was trying to get them together with the mother who is in los angeles. the kids were allowed in at the
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border as unaccompanied minors but their aunt, great aunt was not allowed to accompany them because that's not considered part of the nuclear family by cbp. the kids were eventually able to reconnect with her mother in l.a. but the great aunt was returned to juarez under mpp. it's unclear maybe even unlikely she will ever get to join them. she is coming to terms with that i met her in the shelter, and to think it's the same story for many other aunts and grandmothers and other caregivers who are real
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caregivers to the children, to the young, the minors they bring with them to the border but they don't have the official documentation from the judge that would allow them to be considered like a parent. another example of how, i wanted to talk about how vulnerable populations are being returned. sue mentioned that as well. i met an eight-year-old boy in juarez, sweet young guy who'd lost his eye to tumor as a toddler, had a little class i that he would gladly take out and show you. but it's difficult to care for. requires a lot of medical attention and that's one reason his family decided to leave guatemala. also there were extortion demands, and mix of factors but the family waited in line at the port of entry in el paso explained the situation with vi and according to cbp's guidance, migrants with no mental or physical, excuse me physical mental health issues are not supposed to be in mpp but they sent this family back to war is anyway. what a them they were staying in a church that was run juarez. they were pretty much afraid to go out. i think they're not sure if they're still there or not. one more migrant exempla want to
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talk but the shows a couple of different issues that of come up, family separation among them. just last week we publish my story about a migrant named dobby and her daughter sophia. dobby is in man who fled hunters, arrived with her husband and their two children. they were separated in detention, possibly because the do not have an official marriage license, sort of common-law marriage. it's not clear whether separated. the husband and the samuel son were released into the u.s. and gabby were sent back to juarez with her five-year-old daughter who by the way was also sick with very serious stomach problems that she had developed gabby says while there were in detention in el paso. that was back in march, early april. a federal uptime of it in juarez ever since. there was an incident with her kidnapped by a cab driver. they bounced from shelter to shelter. when i spoke to them finally had some found some stability and found a lawyer, which is rare, of almost 50,000 people that we know have been sent back to mexico under mpp i think only 2% have found lawyers. the statistics from track. so sophia was still sick, losing weight. she dropped from 40 pounds when they arrived at the border to just 26, a five-year-old. the mother felt like she was in an impossible position having to pick between her to make kids, whether she should be fighting to get in the u.s. to rejoin her seven-year-old was with the father in connecticut or go back to honduras which is a place she thought she could get the best chance of getting her daughter healthy again, even though they have to be in hiding actually. after spending
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six months in juarez, her final asylum hearing was supposed to be last week but she did not go. she took the bus that sue talk about, they took the bus back to honduras. her lawyer told me she was disappointed. they thought they had a decent shot at asylum but it would have if they been in and asylum other than el paso, but gabby descent to go back for her daughters sake. visiting a large. about briefly besides legal obstacles i saw what is reported in mexico was the soldiers who are very visibly there to try to discourage migrants from crossing into the u.s. in the summer they were easy to spot at the border. i don't know if that's still the case but, i was with the photographer and several times this happened. we would walk up to a group of soldiers, ask if we could take a picture and they would say no, no, no. it would walk away and it would come back helmets and their full big guns is it okay, take the picture now. then they would sometimes talk to us a little bit, but as long as you don't want to know their names they were sort of forthcoming.
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we watched some troops detain the migrant family from el salvador who were trying to cross west of el paso, trying to cross into new mexico, a mother and two kids who have gotten thousands of miles from el salvador all the way to the board and could literally see new mexico but these mexican soldiers with their blocking their way and they did not make it, at least not while i was watching the didn't make it into the u.s. to ask for asylum. the conclusion i was hoping to leave you with, i think the administration has pushed a lot of the responsibility for what's happening both from an enforcement and a humanitarian perspective to the other side of the border, the mexican authorities, both in terms of the enforcement with the soldiers and in terms of caring for these almost 50,000 migrants who are stuck in mexico until their hearings.
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from the administration's perspective this is working. the head of cbp recently called the protocols a game changer. seems to be essentially the linchpin of the administrations strategy to deal with the asylum flow at the border. when the administration has been asked about the safety of migrants under mpp bits it set a couple different things. one, reports of kidnapping and robbery are uncorroborated and unconfirmed by mexico. secretary mcaleenan was asked a few weeks ago at an event like this one about the safety of migrants and he said they're talking to mexican officials about how to make the system work better with more access to shelters and lawyers. so kind of acknowledging that problems exist but not the level of worry that would stop them from actually sending people back. the other thing to grapple with
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is the border flow numbers are down from a a height more than 140,000 in may to just over 64,000 in august, in terms of number of migrants taken into custody at the border. the administration would argue these changes especially mpp are a big reason why we see the numbers go down. also they talk about cooperation with troops at the border,, the southern border and also the guatemalan border between mexico and guatemala. conditions on the ground are bad enough that we see at least some migrants are giving up on making asylum claims in the u.s. and going back, which suggests they have lost the hope that they had a finding a better future for the family that was driving so many people to make this trip earlier in the year. it seems like some people come for some people that's no longer true. some people are choosing to stay in mexico and i've heard very are growing numbers seeking asylum there. many others are deciding to go back to the situations they left even when those situations are
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very bad. so that's where i will leave it. >> can i comment on one thing? in terms of the kidnappings and rapes the uncorroborated, i mean, that's just laughable because often it's the mexican authorities or committing these atrocities. and even if someone, even if was not a mexican authority who committed it, our managing attorney attorney in juarez was telling me yesterday
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there's a four-hour wait to go to a place where women have to report sexual assaults. it's not surprising they think it's uncorroborated because they put up every barrier to actually be able to report these crimes and report on those for committing the crimes.
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>> and i just had a comment, joel, when you're talking about international organization, migration organizing returns to home countries. when i was at the border two weeks ago i spoke to a group that was 15 minutes of getting on a bus to return, mixed group of hundreds and el salvador is. had a conversation with them for about 30 minutes, and all of them reported that they do not feel safe returning home. however, they're so desperate in juarez, especially with their children, that they feel they have no choice. i think it's important to say that in terms of what's voluntary. and then i had a question. i have several so the question for our panelists before we take hours. in terms of resources in juarez for shelters and humanitarian aid, dylan, i wonder if you have any information to share with us? guess when i was there and visited some of the shelters, by the government shelter officials own admission there are not enough shelter space to house migrants right now. the person was not sure if they're going to receive more resources. i wonder if you have any information to share?
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(inaudible) the list, the folks being turned back. there are currently about, between 6000-6500 people on that list. the population is very fluid. there are folks who go back. there are not enough buses. folks are finding other roots roots back to the home countries so there are a lot of people going back, but even if you took those numbers, 6500 plus 15, 000, let's say half of them have gone to another part of the border or have been met try to cross again into the united states or went back to the home country, that's still about 10,000 people that you have right now, conservative, in ciudad juarez. in terms of shelter space, there are 2200 people in the shelters. so there's by no means enough shelter for folks have now which are having is the beginning of a long-term population. your people that are there for one, two, three,
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four, five, people for a long time. so these are folks, most of the shelters are pop-up shelters that are run by churches, catholic, evangelical, protestant, some community organizations, the mexican army and government recently opened a shelter for folks as well but most of the folks in the small pop-up scrappy type shelters that are running on a shoestring. they are tiny out of the mexican health system. they are no longer able to access the public health system in mexico and there's a lot of discrimination there. so in reality they have not been able to. they are trying to find jobs in the informal economy but that's very difficult. there are a lot of people who just kind of our falling through the cracks. there are folks who are trying to find
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apartments, crammed into small rooms and apartments. there are folks have been kidnapped. we have rescued people literally being held by organized crime and cut them across the border who were kidnapped despite with the government says, kidnappings do happen every single day. before the u.s. government used to limit deportations through ciudad juarez, and the reason for that. as you know ciudad juarez is a very dangerous city. this year there are more than as of today there are more than 1100 murders that are taken place in ciudad juarez, between four and five people killed everyday and ciudad juarez so it's a very combustible ecosystem it when you add to that a population of 10,000 migrants, you're creating a vulnerable population and you're creating the conditions for combustion where organized crime can flourish and we're seeing that all the time. we are in the course doctrine of the violation of human rights that are taking place of folks who
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are in the remain in mexico program. a woman got up and said i'm afraid to go back to ciudad juarez. i don't member issues given a non-and if you are not but the day she returned she was kidnapped by the place who turned over to organize crime who whipped her those of conditions is population is facing right now. and it's easy to forget about them because they are on the other side. and now that the mexicans with the right and there's a tent city on the other side, and if there's any question that remain in mexico is a legal and it is a legal, and to believe it's illegal and ugly it will prevail in the courts on that, because if you are returning people to situation of danger, that does violate the principles. but in the case of mexicans, that's even more clear because we are turning them to the country that they are fleeing from. this is just, this is what folks are facing. >> it's even more dangerous than juarez. state department
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has delineated it as i think it's a level for its called. it's the same level of risk is going to syria and afghanistan and yemen. and that's what our government is sending people back to when they are coming to reporters to ask for asylum. >> just follow up on issue of how long people wait. can you share information on very concretely some one is place in mpp, the return to mexico, go back with a master calendar hearing. how long do they have to wait to report and attend at first hearing and then there after, how long for the final hearing? >> so the first master, hearing, and get it first port to port, but typically it's three to four months out. and then that first is just a master calendar so it is continued. the next drink again is another three to four months out, and they have to go back and take it continued at least usually
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three to four times. it depends on their particular situation whether they file their own asylum application, 589, whether they ask for more time to find an attorney, berries things but generally individual hearing where they are heard on the merits is generally not until the third or fourth time that they've gone back to court. and again it's three to four months in between each one of those. >> i was going to say gabby from the woman i wrote about in juarez, she got from her initial place in mpp like very early on when it just expand into juarez psyche is early april, late march, she got all the way to final hearing by september what you think was quick. her lawyer thought that moved through about as fast as a good. >> the early people in mpp program got through faster but it's getting longer and longer
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as more and more people, >> more people getting well into 2020. >> for sure, 2020. one of the latest one heard recently was june 2020. >> i think it's important folks for us to understand that people may will have to wait up to a year to get their full hearing before an immigration court. that clearly has a huge chilling effect if not a freeze effect on accessing the asylum system. because as we see many people give up and as all of us at scene of the border the conditions at a special for families, and there are many families and many children and mothers and fathers are having a hard time staying in mexico and caring for the children. so this is another way to essentially decimate the asylum system. i'm curious, sue, as to the role of unhcr along the border. i don't know, joel, sue cordial if you can talk about
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that. >> kiara is on the next panel so maybe she could comment on that. just sort of off the record whatever is it's very tricky for them. the u.s. is number one funder for unhcr. there are now some pressure what is he being called? border liaisons for something or other, there's one in el paso and one in san diego but have to keep a low profile. if unhcr mexico that is funding our work on the mexican side of the border but it's like an emphasis on mexican, accessing mexican asylum. it's way to be tricky about it. we still provide information and referrals on the u.s. asylum system, but they can't come out and be as strong effort about this issue but i'll leave that to our unhcr colleagues to go into more detail on. >> smart. just one more
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question before you open it up to our audience. i'm curious, dylan, are you seeing any other cross-border initiatives similar to the hope institute in other border points? fisma anderson as well the hope institute initiative is a faith-based initiative as well. if you could share that information with us. >> there's a lot of work going on, of a faith-based work that's going on. the network of my grandchildren thought mexico is largely a faith-based initiative. it's been going on for some time. they are bearing the burden of it. we transferred the burden of this problem. i think joel stated it well, the juarez and folks in mexico and that work is largely taken up by date-based organizations. the situation is so fluid and even when you look at a program like this, the way
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it is enrolled in different parts of the border, it looks very different depending on where you are. it's really hard to coordinate across different sectors of the border and throughout mexico. but there are a number of faith-based initiatives. they look for a different most of them are scrappy and grassroots and they've been doing this work a long time. >> thank you. we'd like to give an opportunity to folks to ask us your questions, to give us your thoughts. information you have if you been on the border. so please, a microphone here and a microphone on the other side. >> everyone is too sad. (laughs) >> on good as gopal question at the very end. yes?
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>> thank you very much. i'm a reporter for public review in new york. joel covers national immigration. i cover what happens in new york. and like joel i started doing this after trump got a lady. i in education reporter for ten years was been quite an education. i focus on what's happening in new york which is the largest immigration court in the country, and four out of ten new yorkers are foreign-born and all this is a big issue. i would typically see immigration judge master calendar hearings of 80-100 each morning in new york, tons and tons of families coming from the border and it's still very busy. but with what you describe i'd like to know more about how the pipeline may be narrowing and if i will be seen as a reporter big changes in terms of the number of people coming from the border? because there were so many people and families living pushed through on an expedited docket and judges had to decide on the cases very quickly if they came from the border. do you see that this pipeline who is getting through is what i want to know? how much is it going to change and how soon?
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>> maybe i can start. a significant amount of folks are still getting through. when you look at remain in mexico i think it's some around 60,000 folks who have been subject to this, between 40,000-80,000 folks all across the board who have been subject to the program. i think we have the data for what are we, in september? we have the august numbers and we're trending down significantly. when in the 60, 000, perhaps approaching 50,000 for september in terms of arrivals to the u.s.-mexico border over that month. so the numbers are definitely trending down as a result of remain in mexico, as a result of the deployment of the military to boast that the border and throughout the country, as a result of a number of these different actions we talked about. they are having an effect on those numbers and at the end of the symptoms on the trending down. but look at just that number remain in mexico, 2000, that's a small slice of
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the population. there are still significant folks who are getting through. in a past is gone down dramatically. >> i mean, go ahead. >> so there was a point where we're having 1000 folks a day or more released into el paso some months ago but now without 100, 150 150 who are released every day to el paso. so folks are getting through. i'll just say this and then turn it over to sue. what's particularly troubling to me about remain in mexico
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