La Joia, Texas – Immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. have to wait for their court hearings in Mexico again.
On Tuesday night, the Supreme Court ruled that the Biden administration’s attempt to get rid of the Trump-era policy of “Staying in Mexico” violated federal law.
SUPREME COURT RULES “STAY IN MEXICO” TO BE REINSTALLED
However, people living and working along the southern border are wondering whether re-establishing this policy will help the ongoing border crisis or make it worse.
“I think politics is a double-edged sword,” the sergeant said. Joel Villarreal with the La Joya police department, on the border.
When President Biden suspended the program, Villarreal said his department saw a significant increase in the number of people crossing the border.
In July, U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded more than 200,000 immigrant encounters on the U.S.-Mexico border. This is the highest number reported in nearly two decades.
NUMBER OF MEETINGS OF MIGRANT FAMILIES AT THE BORDERS RISE 49% IN JULY, FEW ARE EXPELLED
“The people who were in Mexico waiting for asylum, were the ones who started crossing together with others who were already traveling in caravans to our area,” Villarreal said.
Police raised the numbers again last weekend before the Supreme Court decision.
“It was very chaotic,” Villarreal said. “We had over 200 people or more crossing an area in less than an hour.”
While Villarreal believes the “Stay in Mexico” policy will prevent many immigrants from making the trip to the United States, he fears police will increase elsewhere, such as the number of runners crossing the border illegally.
“We will not have the luxury of people surrendering to allow us to help them,” Villarreal said. “Now we will have to pursue them and this will become a more dangerous situation.”
When the policy was lifted, Villarreal said many families would call 911 when they approached the border to surrender because they did not have to worry about being sent to a refugee camp in Mexico.
Texas immigration attorney Alejandro San Miguel says the camps are “inhumane.”
“There is no access to reasonable medical resources; there is no access to the police,” San Miguel said. “These camps are basically becoming ghettos.”
Before many of the refugee camps were closed earlier this year, Human Rights First reported more than 1,544 cases of murder, rape, torture and kidnapping in these places.
“It goes against the whole nature and purpose of seeking asylum in the United States,” San Miguel added.
MAYORKAS SAYS border crisis is “unsustainable” and “we will lose” in filtered audio
The Department of Homeland Security also disagrees with the decision to reinstate the policy, but says it will comply with the order as long as the appeals process continues.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says reinstatement is an “important victory” for the safety of people living near the border.