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REMAIN IN MEXICO MPP (Migrant Protection Protocols)

7:15am at San Ysidro PedWest Port of Entry (US/Mexico Border):

Immigration Legal Advocate Linda Feldman crosses the busiest land border crossing in the world. She's on her way to pick up a family enrolled in Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

Due to MPP, this young mother from El Salvador and her one-year-old daughter have been separated from the child's father and forced to live in a dangerous neighborhood in Tijuana, Mexico.

The family was enrolled in MPP in late May 2019. Without safe and stable housing options, they have had to move between three different motels in Tijuana.
Linda arrives at a Tijuana motel early in the morning to pick up the family. She explains what will happen in court, and then escorts them to the San Ysidro border crossing prior to the 9:00am Customs Border Protection (CBP) mandatory time to present. JFS accompanies most MPP clients who are forced to wait in Mexico. The stakes are too high due to their vulnerability and risks associated with not presenting and missing their date in court.
The 18-year-old mother fled her home country, and instead of finding safety and security for herself and her young daughter, they have had to wait alone in Mexico without basic necessities including food, shelter, and medical. The hurdles to provide legal representation for these families are great and reduce the number of people who can have representation in court.
Typically, our attorneys or Department of Justice (DOJ) Accredited Representatives have less than an hour to consult with clients prior to arriving at the San Ysidro port of entry. Frequently, these conversations occur while traveling to the port of entry or in public spaces.

MPP cases are heard at the San Diego Immigration Court at 8:00am or 1:00pm. This means individuals or families enrolled in MPP, must present at the San Ysidro Port of Entry as early as 4:00am or 9:00am. Anyone arriving after the 9:00am deadline is turned away and could receive an in absentia removal order.

11:30am in Downtown San Diego:

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bus transports asylum-seekers who are subject to MPP to San Diego Immigration Court.

100% of the MPP cases JFS has accepted for representation thus far have been taken out of the MPP program and granted entry into the US to continue their legal proceedings with access to counsel and other resources.

12:00pm San Diego Immigration Court:

Linda briefs Luis Gonzalez, JFS Senior Immigration Attorney (HIAS Border Fellow), prior to their clients' Immigration Court hearing for MPP.

After the court proceedings, clients requesting a fear of return to Mexico review hearing are taken back into custody by the Department of Homeland Security for several days up to a week without access to counsel. We have no knowledge of where are clients are being held and we cannot communicate with them. All other clients are transported by ICE back to the San Ysidro Port of Entry and returned to Mexico to await their next court date. From there, returned individuals and families look for shelter and JFS legal staff continues the preparation for their legal case, on both sides of the border.

Help Us Ensure Asylum-Seeking Families Forced to Remain in Mexico Have Legal Representation at Their Immigration Hearings

More than 6,000 people requesting asylum in the U.S. have been returned to Tijuana where they must remain during the lengthy asylum process. JFS, on behalf of SDRRN, has launched a legal services hotline for these asylum seekers, and our attorneys have been able to represent some of them in court. But we want to do more.

With your help, for every $115,000 raised we can hire one additional full-time attorney to represent asylum-seekers forced to remain in Mexico during their immigration hearings. Together, we can connect vulnerable families to critical legal services so they can continue their asylum journey in safety and with dignity.

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Jewish Family Service of San Diego
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