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US Border Service issues fake subpoenas, not allowing immigrants granted asylum into the country

In recent weeks, at least 4 people have been sent back to Mexico after being granted asylum in the United States. All of them received fake subpoenas designed to prevent those who obtained the legal right to enter the country from entering the United States.

Фото: Depositphotos

On November day, Francisco left a temporary shelter in which he spent 4 months to go to the nearest port of entry to the United States, says BuzzFeed. Francisco was one of more than 50 000 asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico due to a controversial rule from the Trump administration. His case went through immigration courts. But he and his lawyers were optimistic that his long journey from Cuba to defense in the United States was almost over.

A few weeks earlier, 25-year-old Francisco was allowed to leave Mexico's Nuevo Laredo for a temporary secret court created by the Trump administration in Laredo, Texas. He and his lawyers handed over their case via videoconference to immigration judge Eric Ticherina, who had contacted San Antonio.

Francisco told the court how he left Cuba after government officials beat him and shackled him for criticizing the Cuban government as a "dictatorship." As a Cuban dissident, Francisco dreamed of living in the United States, a country whose democratic system and values ​​he admired from afar.

On November 10, Francisco received a decision from Ticherina: he was granted asylum.

What happened next is causing concern for immigration lawyers and appears to be a new trend. With his court order, Francisco traveled 4 days later with his lawyer to the port of entry - the same place where he first filed an asylum application in July. He handed the 14-page document to the US Customs and Border Protection officer and asked to be admitted.

On the subject: ICE organizes fake university to capture immigrant scammers: victims accuse agency of deceit

Instead, a border guard pulled Francisco aside and gave him notice of a non-existent trial in January, according to one of his lawyers, Lisa Coop. What's more, Francisco will also have to wait in Mexico, as National Security officials used their 30-day window to decide whether to appeal his case.

“He was confused, alarmed, upset - the prospect of staying in Mexico seems very unsafe,” Coop said, describing Francisco's state of mind after being denied entry to the United States.

When a BuzzFeed News reporter called the Department of Justice to confirm the hearing date set by Francisco, the automatic telephone line reported that the hearing date was not actually set.

Francisco, who has asked not to use his full name due to his precarious position in Mexico, is not alone. Coop said that in recent weeks, at least three other individuals, all Venezuelans, have also been denied the opportunity to remain in the United States after receiving asylum. They were all on the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPPs), the Trump administration's policy that keeps asylum seekers in Mexico as their immigration cases continue. All three - one adult man, as well as the woman and her son - were granted asylum in Laredo, but were later returned to Mexico, Coop said.

On Monday, CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan was asked during a press conference whether immigrants really return to Mexico after winning their asylum cases. He seemed confused, saying: "This should not be."

However, a CBP spokesperson said that when appealing against an immigration judge’s decision, “the immigration proceedings are ongoing and individuals can be returned to Mexico pending appeal”.

“The government's behavior in this and other cases reveals the true intent of the MPP, which is to simply cut off the asylum of all peoples under all circumstances,” Coop said. "This is a Cuban dissident who has been granted asylum and is not allowed in - this removes the ambiguity of the motives of this program."

Immigration and customs authorities are holding those in the United States pending an appeal. But, experts say, keeping immigrants in Mexico is a different matter.

“This is fundamentally wrong. The US Immigration Court ruled that this person is a refugee and deserves our protection, ”said Rebecca Jameel, a former immigration judge in San Francisco. "It feels like the CBP is making decisions about refugee safety before the judge."

The Trump administration has repeatedly referred to the program as an achievement that helped reduce the number of border crossings. But lawyers and lawyers described in detail numerous problems with its implementation.

Last week, Human Rights First detailed how it found more than 600 of publicly reported cases of kidnapping, rape, torture and other violent attacks on asylum seekers and immigrants who returned to Mexico as part of the MPP. The group also found asylum seekers who missed trials in the United States due to kidnapping in Mexico.

Francisco is one of the rare immigrants sent to the MPP to seek asylum. In the interim court in Laredo, most cases are still pending, according to data compiled by the Center for Access to Transactional Records at Syracuse University.

Coop wonders what can happen to other people who have been granted asylum but who do not have a lawyer - which most asylum seekers in the United States do not.

“This is a completely incomprehensible system - people face the real possibility that they will never get to the United States,” she said.

On the subject: The refuge city released the illegal immigrant, on the same day he tried to kill a man

In Cuba, Francisco was arrested after listening to music on a national funeral day in connection with the death of Fidel Castro. He was placed in solitary confinement, and then in the interrogation room. There, a government official told Francisco, who was handcuffed to a chair, that he should change his mind about the government, or he would be sent to prison or “disappear,” according to an order written by Ticherina, which was reviewed by BuzzFeed News.

But after Francisco told officers that he would not change his views because there is a dictatorship in Cuba, he was beaten and then handcuffed to the top of his prison cell - his hands over his head - for 24 hours. He was not allowed to go to the toilet, the man urinated under him.

After 8 days in prison, Francisco began to prepare to leave Cuba once and for all.

Coop recalls how one day after a hearing in a temporary facility in Laredo, she spent an hour getting to know Francisco.

“He talked a lot about his faith in America. He expected him to come to a place where his rights would be respected, ”she said.

Coop and other lawyers are still in favor of his entry into the US and are developing a strategy for how to do this.

“He still believes the US is a place he wants to be a part of, to contribute and rebuild his life, but he has paid a high price,” she said. "It was a really excruciating experience that he had to go through."

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