The story of Tornillo continues to get more disturbing. How is this not an internment camp? Just in terms of the lack of legal representation, think about the implications of thousands of detained children and teenagers, 40+ miles from the nearest city where immigration lawyers might be found…and even then, only the lawyers from one agency in the region are allowed to represent the children? Notwithstanding the good work and professional intentions of DMRS, how can that possibly be any kind of real representation? When there are more than 2000 people interned at this camp.
I have been at the court in El Paso when these kids are brought to court. They fill up the several dozen seats in the waiting room. They wear uniforms. They are not allowed to speak to anyone. The workers escorting them also say they are not allowed to answer questions or speak to anyone.
I know several attorneys and at least one other non-profit who have asked to be allowed in to interview and possibly represent the children, but as far as I know, they have not been admitted.
This facility is in the US, although just barely, as it sits at the Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry. Imagine the barriers to providing legal assistance to the asylum seekers “REMAINING IN MEXICO” if this proposal from Trump and the Mexican government goes forward. An attorney discusses this here:
How will lawyers find their clients if they are living on the Mexican side of the border? I assume that if this happens, the people will be allowed to apply for asylum affirmatively since they are not present in the US and thus cannot be considered “in removal proceedings…” But even if USCIS asylum officers go to Mexico to interview people, how will the applicants get asylum forms (the i589 form can only be submitted in English…all documentation including identification documents, police reports, medical reports, news articles, human rights reports, etc. must be translated into English)? Where will applicants find translators, or the money to pay them, while living in Mexico? Where will they even get access to the internet to get the information they need from US government websites? Where and how will they be able to pay for internet, printing, computers, etc. No one can submit an asylum claim online. In the immigration system, everything is still filed on paper. Even a basic asylum application can be 50 or more pages with copies of documents, translations, etc.
If a USCIS officer denies the claim, will the people have the right to appear before a judge, as they would if they were on US soil? If the people must REMAIN IN MEXICO, do they have any of the constitutional rights that people applying from inside the US have? Do the Mexican and US governments plan to create a “Guantanamo-type” of extra-constitutional zone for asylum? Isn’t this a complete denial of both US and international law?
Perhaps I see things in the extreme…
And “REMAIN IN MEXICO” is not the Guantanimization of asylum in the United States… But when I wrote about prison camps for immigrant families, there were perhaps 300 kids at Tornillo. Now we are told there are 2,300 with room for 3,500… I did not mean for that to happen. I just predicted it. molly molloy
GO TO LINK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS…
TORNILLO, Texas – About 40 miles southeast of El Paso, past the billboards for fast food joints and rugged desert hills, residents of this small community sometimes can see the lights of the nearby detention camp glowing in the night.
Some of them have brought gifts for the roughly 2,300 children inside, only to be turned away by guards.
Months after the government erected a tent city in the desert, most of what happens inside the encampment remains hidden, even from curious neighbors in the nearby town of 1,600 residents. The only images of the minors in the camp, standing outside in an orderly line or playing soccer, have been released by the Department of Health and Human Services.
GO TO LINK FOR FULL STORY FROM REVEAL: https://www.revealnews.org/article/no-one-on-the-inside-can-talk-about-whats-happening-at-the-tent-city-for-migrant-kids/