Almost 60,000 asylum-seekers from across Latin America have been stranded on the Mexican side of the United States’ southern border for months, often in dire and dangerous conditions, as part of the administration’s controversial “Remain in Mexico” policy established in January 2019. (The policy is also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols.) The Trump administration wants people to remain there as their immigration proceedings unfold, but advocates contend that the policy left vulnerable groups — including folks who are LGBTQ or pregnant — living in unsafe, overcrowded encampments.
The ACLU slammed the policy for creating what it called a “humanitarian crisis at the border.” In December 2019, Human Rights First found that there have been at least 636 publicly reported cases of violent attacks — including kidnapping, rape, and torture — committed against asylum seekers and people who were pushed to Mexico through the “Remain in Mexico” policy.
“The court forcefully rejected the Trump administration’s assertion that it could strand asylum seekers in Mexico and subject them to grave danger,” ACLU attorney Judy Rabinovitz, who argued the case in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, said in a statement. “It’s time for the administration to follow the law and stop putting asylum-seekers in harm’s way.”