First Remain in Mexico Refugee Granted Asylum, Yet Government Threatens to Return Him to Danger
San Diego, California—Yesterday in San Diego the first individual forced to remain in Mexico under the “Migrant Protection Protocols” was granted asylum based on his status as an Evangelical Christian church leader in Honduras. Despite this grant of asylum from an immigration judge, the individual—who is represented by Human Rights First and goes by the name Alec—has been threatened with return to Mexico by the U.S. government. His lawyer, Human Rights First’s Robyn Barnard, issued the following statement:
The government’s insistence on returning Alec to Mexico while it decides whether to appeal his grant of asylum is illegal, immoral, and totally unprecedented. Alec was granted asylum by a U.S. immigration court. The judge recognized that Alec is a refugee under U.S. and international law. Rather than accept this ruling, or at a minimum allow Alec to remain in safety in the United States while it ponders appeal, Alec spent the night he was granted asylum in a hielera and the government is threatening to send him back to violent circumstances in Mexico simply to gratify the political whims of a morally bankrupt administration.
Alec should never have been forced to endure months in danger in Mexico . The thousands of refugees waiting on the other side of the border, who face kidnappers, traffickers, assault, and murder, have done nothing to warrant this disgraceful treatment. They have only ever sought safety, freedom, and dignity. Sending Alec back to Mexico—after his grant of asylum—tramples on the legacy and laws of this nation. These actions are shameful and they cannot stand.