Sending Asylum Seekers to Mexico Created Different Set of Problems: It’s All About Volume

FILE PHOTO: Honduran migrants rest after returning to Mexico from the U.S. under the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) to wait for their court hearing for asylum seekers, in Ciudad Juarez

It’s called Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), and it was meant to deter migrants who knew they weren’t eligible for asylum from entering the U.S. and disappearing. Now the law of unintended consequences has revealed a new set of issues.

Under MPP, more than 40,000 migrants who asked for asylum have been sent to Mexico to wait for their case to be heard in court.  But how do those people receive timely notices of court dates and times?  Their address is often listed as just the city and state in Mexico where they were sent.

And when they appear in court, they must enter the U.S. through just two ports, San Diego and El Paso, and travel under Border Patrol escort.  Snafus abound.

After waiting two months in Mexico to press her case for U.S. asylum, 20-year-old Katia from Nicaragua arrived at the border near Tijuana three hours before the critical hearing was scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m.

But border agents didn’t even escort her into the U.S. port of entry until after 9 a.m., she said, and then she was left stranded there with a group of more than a dozen other migrants who also missed their hearings.

The young lady as a lawyer, paid for by her aunt in the U.S., who convinced the judge to reschedule her case because of the transportation snafu. Later, staff at the lawyer’s office learned that at least two families in the group were ordered deported for not showing up to court.

In addition to transportation and scheduling issues, MPP is swamping the courts and court system.

Theresa Cardinal Brown, a former Department of Homeland Security official under presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, said:

“It’s a volume problem, it’s a planning problem, it’s a systems problem and it’s an operational problem on the ground.  They’re figuring everything out on the fly.”

When the MPP program was announced on December 20, then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said one of its “anticipated benefits” would be cutting backlogs in immigration courts.

But the immediate impact has been to further strain the immigration courts.

A Reuters analysis of immigration court data through Aug. 1 found judges hearing MPP cases in El Paso and San Diego were scheduled for an average of 32 cases per day between January and July this year. One judge was booked for 174 cases in one day.

To reduce the backlog, DHS estimates the government would need to reassign more than 100 immigration judges from around the country to hear MPP cases via video conferencing systems, according to the attendees of the June meeting with congressional staff.

All told, the courts are now struggling with more than 930,000 pending cases of all types.

As of August 1, 39% of the backlog in the San Diego court and 44% of the backlog in the El Paso court was due to MPP case loads, Reuters analysis of immigration court data showed.

Congress intends to shift funds from disaster relief to expand facilities for MPP hearings, and also wants more funds for transportation.  Without it, the backlog will expand.

ITent courts are set to open this month in Laredo and Brownsville, Texas, and so far more than 4,600 cases have been scheduled there to be heard by 20 judges, according to court data.

In Laredo, 20 to 27 tent courtrooms will provide video conferencing equipment so judges not based at the border can hear cases remotely.



  1. The story begins by talking about snafus, but quickly dissolves into the real problem, which is way the hell too many “refugees” coming to the country in the first place. The new system is probably responsible for the snafus, but has nothing to do with the number of people coming here nor the backlog for the cases to be heard by immigration judges. I’ve read that the new process has resulted in fewer refugees showing up at the border and this, at least, gives us a chance to catch up eventually.

    • “the real problem, which is way the hell too many “refugees” coming to the country in the first place.”
      YES; but where did “the first place” time frame begin?

  2. To all Illegal Immigrant-Aliens, it’s aaall your fault with the help of The Progressive Liberal Commie-Socialist And Islamic Infested Democratic Party, for Illegally Stealing “We The Legal Citizens And Legal Immigrants Of The USA’s Hard Earned Tax Dollars from “WTLCALIOTUSA” And Illegally Giving The Said Tax Dollars To You IIA’s, That All Of You IIA’s Truly Should Have Started Your Immigrating Trek To The USA, At Your Home Countries US Embassy, And Go Through The US Immigration And Naturalization Process, The USA Does NOT Want Any Free Loaders, Who Only Want To Leach Off Of “We The Legal Citizens And Legal Immigrants Of The United States Of America’s Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Totally agree. the Obama administration is largely to blame for bending on one knee & bowing to the UN & allowing all the so called refugees in from the middle east & Africa.
      These countries are a world away from the the USA.
      These people are of a different culture & languages that they will not adopt to the laws & customs in dress or culture of the USA.
      Plus it is an insult to those who immigrated legally & abided by the rule of law so that they could enter the USA after waiting in line & being approved They gathered enough funds so to support themselves & immediate family. I did say immediate not bring those in who fraudently entered under another name
      These so called Obama refugees who were never vetted or checked for affiliations with organizations, Have been a drain on the American citizens in the money , health benefits,
      food stamps, Education benefits & over crowding of our school system etc.
      They have brought into the USA diseases that had been eradicated in the USA
      Many of these third world countries in the lower America’s & the African continent have so much diseases & even with help they refuse to help themselves by following the medical advise, & birth control
      The same goes for many pf the Middle Eastern countries
      Their cultures & the western culture simply does not mix
      Is there exception to the rule, YES, but in general they neither mix in culture, dress or language.
      So instead of the USA continuing to move forward it will be dragged back centuries because we have allowed the un-vetted into the USA with their hate for Americans in general

      • “So instead of the USA continuing to move forward it will be dragged back centuries because we have allowed the un-vetted into the USA with their hate for Americans in general”
        “CENTURIES”, You better start packing then!

    • The Liberal Commie-Socialist Democrats?
      Putin, is the leader of the Commie-Socialist Country!
      He is President Trumps hero! A foolish man, a sucker!
      President Trump is also best buddies, with the Saudi Prince, who enjoys murdering women and children and freedom! He also sides with the murderer of women and children in Syria! The Commie country of Syria, with thousands of refugees in Turkey and Germany, 2 Free Countries. Mostly the poor, and unwanted only seeking FREDOM AND PIECE; but only received
      death and destruction for it. A Very Close Allie of Putin. Putin who was claiming that they were bombing ISIS; but in reality they were bombing Hospitals and schools in Syria, murderous Commie-Socialist Russia! YOU ARE A COMMIE- LOVER!

  3. It is common knowledge, that almost 50% of all Professional
    Baseball Players in the USA, have been hunted down by Major League Scouting Agents. Many are from Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Africa, Brazil, etc. These would be considered, shit hole countries to some. Why are these immigrants, put on a Fast Track, Honorable and Celebrated welcome wagon and are paid Millions of dollars per year, for playing a Kids game, to entertain Baseball fans and it is considered to be “Americas Game”. We never hear the words, “illegal immigrants”, or “green cards” when these new American Hero’s, are welcomed to America, with opened arms! They are most likely allowed to bring their families as well? These are poor and likely uneducated people, who are not in any danger at all, they don’t arrive in America at a “border wall”. They are not caged like animals, at any borders to legally go through, the US Immigration Process. These Immigrants fly First Class into America. Most likely with a VIP Mule. This goes well beyond any double standards for Immigrants. Why is this an
    unmentionable subject?

  4. These illegal aliens are here because democrats sent people to central America to recruit them. Unfortunately some churches are complicit in these affairs. They are no refuges. There is no war in those countries. Pregnant women come as they were told will get special treatment and a card to citizenship. DACA is unconstitutional. Why nobody objected Obama then?? Where were republicans then?
    Trump can not do the same. Shame on the rhinos!!! MAGA.

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