While Asylum-seekers who cross the border are sent back to Mexico to wait for their hearings to wind through immigration courts, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is considering a bid to temporarily block the policy during a legal challenge.
Under the so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy, more than 55,000 asylum-seekers were sent back to Mexico within nine months after it was introduced in San Diego in January.
The policy later expanded to Texas and Arizona
The Homeland Security Department said that the policy “works and is a game-changer in addressing the ongoing border crisis.”
Critics note that asylum seekers are sent to extremely violent Mexican border cities and argue that they are denied fair treatment in U.S. immigration court.
Immigrant advocacy groups have also pointed to the hundreds of public reports of rape, kidnapping, torture and other violent crimes against asylum-seekers who have been sent back.
Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union argued to block the Trump Administration’s policy at the North Circuit Court in San Francisco on Monday.
An appeals court decision could come later this month with the case expected to eventually go to the Supreme Court.