Banning Legal Observers from Asylum Hearings Next Step under Cruel Remain in Mexico
New York City—In response to reports that the Trump Administration is blocking public access to potential pro bono lawyers and independent observers, which include journalists and human rights researchers, to tent courts set up for refugees forced to remain in Mexico during their asylum proceedings, Human Rights First’s Kennji Kizuka issued the following statement:
By banning independent monitors and potential pro bono lawyers from tent courts, the Trump Administration is hiding information about the human rights abuses asylum seekers are suffering after being forced to return to Mexico. It is just another attempt to cover up the flaws in this sham asylum process, a process created to block refugees from finding safety in the United States.
These court house restrictions are a due process nightmare. Because refugees are forced to wait in danger in Mexico, this is the only opportunity for many unrepresented asylum seekers to meet a lawyer in person in the United States. Now it seems that the administration is blocking legal observers from monitoring the due process deficiencies in these immigration hearings and the harms suffered by asylum seekers returned back to danger by the Trump administration.
The bottom line is that the Remain in Mexico is cruel, dangerous, and illegal, and it needs to end now.