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‘Remain in Mexico’ Asylum Cases Swamp Courts

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The Trump administration’s policy to force migrants seeking asylum to wait in Mexico for immigration court hearings is rapidly flooding some courts assigned to handle the cases, The Marshall Project reported. Data from the Executive Office for Immigration Review show that so far this year, nearly 17,000 new asylum cases for migrants waiting in Mexico have been assigned to border courts through the end of August. More than 6,000 were filed in August alone.

Even as cases have sharply increased, the exact number of people still waiting in Mexico is unknown. Customs and Border Protection estimates show that as of early September 42,000 people have been told to wait on the Mexican side of the border, according to reporting by Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, but not all of them have made it into the courts yet. A U.S. Supreme Court decision last week that struck down an injunction that had blocked a policy requiring migrants to first seek asylum in one of the countries they cross in transit to the U.S. will likely decrease the number of new asylum applications, but border courts will still have large caseloads to work through.

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