Things That Matter

Migrants Are Missing Court Dates Because Border Patrol Is Allegedly Writing False Addresses On Their Paperwork

Migrant lawyers are saying United States Customs and Border Patrol agents are willfully listing false addresses for asylum seekers on paperwork to undermine their immigration process. The attorneys were able to uncover the phenomenon because the agents appear to be listing the same address on various migrants’ papers. 
The result is that it’s impossible for asylum seekers to receive letters and information from the government about their ongoing immigration court cases. According to NBC News, 18 examples have been included in an amicus brief that migrant attorneys will file with the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, the lawyers claim they’ve seen these false addresses applied to hundreds of migrants. 

Lawyers hope the brief will challenge the Migrant Protocols Protections also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. 

Roughly 60,000 Central Americans are awaiting their immigration cases while living in overcrowded, unhygienic detention centers in Mexico. The completion of their cases could take years. The law requires that asylum seekers receive notification of any charges or immigration hearings, CBP’s use of false addresses encroaches on their rights, the lawyers will argue.

“Consistent with these international law obligations, federal law recognizes that, at a minimum, asylum seekers must be notified of the charges against them and have rights to a fair hearing,” the brief by the Action Center and the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley reads. 

The form where agents are commonly falsifying address is the Notice to Appear (NTA) which is the letter that tells migrants where and when to go to immigration court for their asylum hearings. The cost of missing a court date is everything. If a judge deems them absentia they could be deported. 

Currently, CBP is listing many migrants address as a shelter in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico — a place that the migrants have never even been to. 

Make no mistake, migrants are providing their correct addresses. CBP appears to not be listening. 

One of the immigrants named in the brief, Angelina, a 42-year-old Cuban migrant told CBP that her contact info is her partner’s address. However, when Angelina met with a lawyer it was clear that agents did not correctly list the address instead opting for the incorrect Casa del Migrante — she’s never been there. 

“I have no idea if I missed court dates or if anything was sent to me,” Angelina told NBC News over the phone. “There’s a lot of violence. Every single morning when we wake up, we see and hear on TV about the number of dead overnight. They’re killing women. They’re killing people from the LGBT community.” 

Angelina’s lawyer Nicolas Palazzo of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center says most migrants aren’t aware that their addresses aren’t being correctly filed. While an available hotline can provide them with info about their cases, the hotline is often not up to date. 

“The risk is not only that the U.S. violates its own procedures under due process, but also the risk of sending back asylum seekers to places they could be tortured or killed,” Karen Tumlin, the founder and director of the Justice Action Center, told NBC News.

Some border patrol agents were listing addresses simply as “Facebook.” 

The issue of addresses is getting more complicated. A recent ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said migrants must provide addresses based in the United States (as Angelina did) in order to receive legal correspondence. 

“But even when immigrants give U.S. addresses, such as the one Angelina provided, border agents in El Paso are ignoring them and including the address for the shelter in Ciudad Juarez,” NBC notes. 

Some agents are just listing “Facebook” as an address for migrants, in other instances, they will list “known address.” Angelina is hopeful that she will be granted asylum, and her attorney has been consistently updating her. However, most migrants detained in Mexico don’t have the resources or way of finding a lawyer. Unlike those imprisoned, a lawyer is not guaranteed to the migrants. Most asylum seekers and other migrants are left to fend for themselves — a seemingly impossible task given the obstacles that lie ahead. 

“Hope is the last thing to die,” Angelina said. 

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It’s Like “A War Zone” At The Border Wall As Injured Migrants Are Being Sent Back Without Medical Treatment

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It’s Like “A War Zone” At The Border Wall As Injured Migrants Are Being Sent Back Without Medical Treatment

For years we’ve heard of horrific stories from the U.S.-Mexico border, and things only seemed to get worse under the Trump administration’s cruel and inhumane policies.

Now, with new segments of border wall finished – including 15-feet-tall segments with barbed wire – many people who attempt to cross the border wall are falling victim to severe injuries as they fall to the ground or are torn up by razor wire. Although many are falling into the U.S. side of the border, where they should be receiving medical care once apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol, many are being immediately returned to Mexico.

U.S. Border Patrol is returning severely injured migrants to Mexico without medical care.

Donald Trump’s “big, beautiful wall,” which has torn apart communities along the border region and done nothing to curb migrants and refugees from attempting to reach the U.S., is leading to crippling injuries to people attempting to cross the border amid worsening situations in their home countries.

According to one Texas pastor, Rosalio Sosa, who runs a network of migrant shelters known as Red de Albergues Para Migrantes (RAM), told Dallas News a shelter in Palomas gets about seven injured migrants per week and the situation there looks like that of a “war zone,” with the number of injured piling up.

“This has become a war zone, with war injuries and no resources,” he said. “But governments need to know that deserts, rivers, walls are no match for hunger.”

According to Sosa, Border Patrol routinely sends migrants to Palomas with a range of injuries from minor to serious including those who have fallen off the Border Wall. 

“They just pick them up and send them over here. No wheelchair, nothing. Not even a Tylenol,” Sosa said.  The shelter works to get the men medical care in Mexico.

Many migrants confirm what the pastor is alleging, saying they’re being dumped like garbage.

Many of those who have attempted to enter the U.S. are fleeing political unrest and economic uncertainty amid the Covid-19 pandemic. They allege that they are being “dumped” back in “Mexico like garbage” without any help or medical aide from Border Patrol.

Pedro Gomez, who attempted to flee Guatemala in January, said his ankles were broken after falling from the wall and he had to crawl to the US border agent’s vehicle.

“I couldn’t even get up, so I crawled inside the migra [US Border patrol] vehicle”, Mr. Gomez said, adding: “they dumped us in Mexico like garbage, a piece of trash. They said ‘stand up, stand up.’ I don’t know where I found the strength.”

For their part, the Border Patrol denies any allegations of mistreatment.

The U.S. Border Patrol has routinely denied any wrongdoing. In fact, in response to multiple allegations from the pastor and several migrants who claim mistreatment, the agency released a statement rejecting the claims. It said the agents regularly encountered injured migrants and administered medical aid to those hurt.

“We routinely encounter injured people on the border, most of which are individuals that have entered the country illegally. When it is apparent that someone is hurt we will administer first aid and request assistance as needed,” El Paso sector border patrol chief, Gloria Chavez, said in the statement.

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Honduran Woman Gave Birth On Bridge Between U.S. And Mexico Border But What Will Happen To Them Next?

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Honduran Woman Gave Birth On Bridge Between U.S. And Mexico Border But What Will Happen To Them Next?

As the number of parents and children crossing the border continues to increase, driven by violence and poverty in Central America, many are growing desperate while being forced to wait in migrant camps in Mexico. While crossings have not reached the levels seen in previous years, facilities that hold migrants are approaching capacity, which has been reduced because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This is forcing many to check the status of their claims by crossing into the U.S. to speak to border agents. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that more and more women are being forced to give birth in less than ideal situations – putting at risk both the lives of the mother and child.

A migrant woman gave birth on a bridge between U.S.-Mexico border.

According to Mexican border authorities, a Honduran woman gave birth on the Mexican side of the border bridge between Matamoros, Mexico and Brownsville, Texas. The woman was apparently trying to reach the U.S. side, but felt unsteady when she got there and was helped by pedestrians on the Mexican side waiting to cross.

Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said the birth occurred Saturday afternoon on the Ignacio Zaragoza border bridge, also known as “Los Tomates.” It said authorities received an alert from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials regarding “a woman trying to enter the country improperly.”

It said the woman was taken to a hospital in Matamoros, where she was given free care. Her child will have the right to Mexican citizenship.

Hernández is hardly the first woman to give birth while hoping to cross into the U.S.

Just last month, a woman gave birth along the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. She had just crossed the river and her smugglers were yelling at her to keep moving as U.S. Border Patrol agents arrived. But she couldn’t continue, fell to the ground, and began to give birth.

The mother and her her daughter are safe and in good health. “They treated me well, thank God,” said the woman, who didn’t want her name used because she fears retribution if she’s forced to leave the country, in an interview with ABC News.

“There’s so many women in great danger,” Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, told ABC News. “They must really think before they do what they do and risk the life of their unborn child.”

Like so many other women, Hernández was waiting in Mexico under Trump’s cruel immigration policies.

Hernández was reportedly among about 800 migrants sheltering in an improvised riverside camp while awaiting U.S. hearings on their claims for asylum or visas. Other migrants are waiting in Matamoros, but have rented rooms.

Thousands of other migrants are waiting in other Mexican border cities for a chance to enter the U.S. — some for years. The Trump administration has turned away tens of thousands at legal border crossings, first citing a shortage of space and then telling people to wait for court dates under its “Remain in Mexico” policy.

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