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October 16, 2019 RAPID RESPONSE

"Remain in Mexico": the Facts, the Fiction, and Methods to Challenge this Unprecedented Rebuke of America’s Asylum System

Since January 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began invoking an obscure provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act to require tens of thousands of asylum seekers to remain in Mexico during their removal proceedings. From San Diego, California, to Brownsville, Texas, applicants are struggling to survive in Mexico and find U.S.-licensed lawyers to provide legal advice and representation. These challenges have been exacerbated by the opening of port courts in Laredo and Brownsville, Texas. The port courts are closed to the public, operate by video-conferencing, and offer limited access to clients on the day of the hearing. Join us as our expert panelists recount the practical realities that impede due process and serve to deter those seeking protection. We also discuss novel arguments to seek bond and challenge the systematic application of this expanding policy.


  • Leah L. Chavarria, Director of Immigration Services, Jewish Family Services of San Diego
  • Taylor Levy, Private Immigration Attorney, El Paso 
  • Patricia Ojeda, Staff Attorney, ABA Immigration Justice Project, San Diego
  • Laura Peña, ABA Commission on Immigration Pro Bono Counsel, Brownsville
  • Laura Tuell, Of Counsel, Jones Day, Laredo 


  • Denise Gilman, Immigration Clinic Director and Clinical Professor, The University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Co-Sponsor: ABA Commission on Immigration


Speaker Biographies

CBP Tour of Port Court, Brownsville, Texas

Orders from Above: Massive Human Rights Abuses Under Trump Administration Return to Mexico Policy

Inside the Deportation Courts

Redacted: MPP Related Bond Jurisdiction


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