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Anniversary of local migrant processing tent facility

In September 2019, the white tents that stand adjacent to bridge one in downtown Laredo started receiving asylum seekers fighting for the American dream.
Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 11:15 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - The migrant processing tent facility in downtown Laredo still remains active.

This week marks one year since court proceedings began inside the white tents that stand right next to bridge one.

The Remain in Mexico program began in 2019 at the San Diego/Tijuana border, then eventually made it’s way to the Dos Laredos.

Since then the program, which is formally called Migrant Protection Protocol has gone through it’s ups and downs in the court system.

It’s been praised as a “game changing” by federal officials and has been called “dangerous” by immigration advocates.

In September 2019, the white tents that stand adjacent to bridge one in downtown Laredo started receiving asylum seekers fighting for the American dream.

“I want to end up in America," said ‘Jose,’ an asylum seeker. "I just want to start my journey, I want to get home, finally be safe, because it’s been hard for us.”

Men, women, and children from different countries, all with different stories.

“I have proof they burned me years ago but those same people made those same threats again," said Patricia Jarra, another asylum seeker.

These asylum seekers would line up along the Gateway to America’s Bridge as early as four in the morning.

At the halfway point between the U.S. and Mexico, Customs and Border Protection agents mark off appointments for the day.

In a tour provided by the federal department, members of the media like KGNS saw the process asylum seekers would go through.

The first appearance was to get information on their rights and second court appearance, and the second visit they would learn their fate.

What KGNS came to learn was that only a small percentage of people were actually showing up.

One day, there was upwards of 300 scheduled but no more than 20 showed up.

A report from the nonprofit organization Human Rights First shed light on just why appointments weren’t being met.

In the documents are testimonies from migrants saying they had gone through beatings, kidnappings, and rape in border cities like Nuevo Laredo.

Several months later in February, the program was temporarily halted after a ruling in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

A month later the Supreme Court overturned it.

According to CBP data, in Laredo and on the USBP side close to 200 people enrolled.

The office of operation received over 260.

More CBP data reveals that over 32,000 asylum seekers were removed, 28,000 were removed because they missed their court appearance, and more than 10,000 were terminated.

Only 523 individuals received relief.

Copyright 2020 KGNS. All rights reserved.

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