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The so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy has upended San Diego’s immigration courts.
The policy – officially known as the Migration Protection Protocols – requires asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for their asylum proceedings. The program went into effect at the end of January, when the pilot began at San Diego’s border. It has since expanded to other parts of the U.S.-Mexico border, and roughly 45,000 people have been returned to Mexico under it to await their asylum hearings.
The “Remain in Mexico” cases have forced all other immigration cases for the past few months to be pushed to 2020 and 2021. For months, immigration judges have been speaking out during proceedings, highlighting paperwork and process errors and other mistakes that clog up the system.
On this week’s San Diego Explained, NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia and I check in on the “Remain in Mexico” policy and break down how the policy has inundated San Diego’s immigration courts.