Progressives Attack ‘Remain in Mexico’ Program for Migrants

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Top leaders from the Department of Homeland Security are showcasing the new border courtrooms created to handle asylum claims by more than 40,000 migrants who were sent back to Mexico, as pro-migration groups step up their campaign to block the successful program.

The progressives are showcasing critical media claims about migrants who say they are suffering in Mexican towns while waiting for their asylum hearings in U.S. courtrooms. The media campaign is intended to persuade federal judges in California to shut the MPP program down and so reopen the border to a massive infusion of poor migrants into the jobs, housing, and schools needed by blue-collar Americans and their children.

The MPP program has sent more than 40,000 migrants back into Mexico until U.S. officials are ready to hear their legal claims for asylum. The returns mean that migrants cannot get released into the United States to get jobs while they wait two or more years for a courtroom hearing in the United States.

The program is having a big impact on the economic incentive for migration. The migrants need U.S. jobs to pay their smuggling bills to the cartel-affiliated coyotes. But the MPP program means they cannot get U.S. jobs while waiting in Mexico. That economic loss effectively removes the incentive for them to migrate, and it also damages the economic engine of the cartels’ labor trafficking business.

The MPP policy helped to reduce the border arrivals from 143,000 in May to 64,600 in August.

Pro-migration groups are alarmed by the drop-off in migration and are slamming the MPP program.  The program “is a sham process designed to fail,” claimed a pro-migration group, Immigration Voice. Pili Tobar, the group’s deputy director, said:

The sham on display at the tent courts in Laredo makes a mockery of any true vision of justice or due process of law. They’re kangaroo tent courts, the final step of a process engineered by the Trump administration to severely restrict any fair chance for migrants seeking asylum to have their cases fully heard and carefully evaluated. First, our government denies requests for vulnerable people to stay and apply for asylum in the U.S. Then they force these people into harm’s way in Mexico, where they face increasingly dangerous conditions, including murder, kidnapping and rape. The cartels and criminal enterprises in Mexico are preying on the victims the U.S. government is providing for them. Finally, if by chance asylum seekers are able to get to their supposedly ‘fair’ asylum hearing, it is taking place in a tent court and without a lawyer or real transparency or accountability.

In response, U.S. officials promoted the MPP process in their Tuesday visit to a new MPP facility in Laredo, Texas. The officials included DHS acting secretary Kevin McAleenan, border chief Mark Morgan, acting ICE director Matt Albence, and Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency.

“President Trump is using all the tools available to him and leveraging each federal agency to address the crisis at the southern border,” said a statement Cuccinelli. “MPP has been a highly effective tool and this visit will help explain the process to the American people.”

“Today’s visit with all the components to the MPP facility in Laredo is another example of a network of policies implemented by this administration to address this crisis,” said Morgan. “MPP addresses a key loophole in the legal framework that Congress has failed to address.”

“The President and Secretary have laid out an effective strategy to address the humanitarian crisis at the border,” said another statement, which added:

This strategy leverages ICE, CBP, USCIS, DOJ and other federal partners to provide a holistic approach to fix our broken immigration system and secure the border. By fostering international cooperation from Central American partners, improving Mexican enforcement efforts, and implementing domestic policy changes, such as MPP, we have already seen border apprehensions drop by 56% since the height of the crisis in May. Tuesday’s visit by President Trump’s four top immigration officials will highlight these efforts.”

Pro-migration groups are touting the critical media coverage of the MPP legal process.

The Texas Observer reported September 16:

On Monday morning, 52 asylum-seekers were scheduled to appear in court at a complex of tent structures hastily constructed next to one of Laredo’s international bridges. More than 150 miles away in San Antonio, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez sat in her immigration court waiting for the supplicants to appear on a television screen, as I and a few other observers looked on.

Only 26 of the asylum-seekers, half the total, made it to their hearing Monday. The rest, presumably, were stuck somewhere in Mexico, or had given up on their asylum cases and returned to their home countries.

Only four of the migrants arrived Monday with attorneys, confirming lawyers’ claims that migrants in MPP are being denied reasonable access to counsel, which is key for navigating complicated immigration proceedings. One of the attorneys, Lisa Koop with the National Immigrant Justice Center, stressed to the judge that some of her clients were living in Monterrey and it was very difficult for them to pay for and arrange safe transport to Laredo.

Most of the [20] migrants who did not show up Monday were “ordered removed” to their home countries—meaning they’ll be subject to deportation if they return to the United States. Most were from Guatemala and Honduras; one was from Venezuela.

Advised by pro-migrant lawyers, migrants are trying to escape the MPP program — and get into the United States — by claiming they fear persecution if they are returned to Mexico. NBC reported:

[Judge] Gonzalez asked if anyone had a question. One man raised his hand and he began to detail his intense fear of having to reside in Mexico while he waited. The judge said she would talk to him after. Suddenly about eight more hands shot up with similar concerns.

They said they had evidence of death threats, claimed having been assaulted or mugged, and one mother said she didn’t have any money to live in Mexico and she barely had enough to come to this hearing. The man who brought her here charged here even more than they settled on when she arrived, the woman said.

The judge ordered those who said they feared living in Mexico to be referred to asylum officers for “non-refoulment” interviews to make their case to be removed from the remain in Mexico program.

Immigration Numbers:

Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university. This total includes about 800,000 Americans who graduate with skilled degrees in business or health care, engineering or science, software, or statistics.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of about 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including approximately 1 million H-1B workers and spouses — and about 500,000 blue-collar visa workers. The government also prints more than 1 million work permits for new foreigners, and rarely punishes companies for employing illegal migrants.

This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth and stock values for investors. The stimulus happens because the extra labor ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.

This policy of flooding the market with cheap, foreign, white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor shifts wealth from young employees towards older investors. It also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment,  increases state and local tax burdens, reduces marriage rates, and hurts children’s schools and college educations.

The cheap-labor economic strategy also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and it sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with drug addictions.

The labor policy also moves business investment and wealth from the Heartland to the coastal cities, explodes rents and housing costs, undermines suburbia, shrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces.






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