Seven Asylum-Seekers Will Reunite With Family In Mass. After ACLU Lawsuit

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Seven asylum-seekers who were previously forced to wait in Mexico under a Trump administration policy will be coming to Massachusetts, following an order in the state's U.S. District Court.

President Joe Biden's administration has reportedly been taking steps to reverse former President Donald Trump's "Migrant Protection Protocols" (MPP), that were often described as the "Remain in Mexico" program.

The policy required tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to wait in several cities along the U.S.-Mexico border while their cases are being prepared or heard.

When the policy was announced, then-DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the MPP would “allow more resources to be dedicated to individuals who legitimately qualify for asylum." But as the ACLU of Massachusetts argues, the policy ended up putting many migrants in unsafe conditions while they were waiting for movement in their cases.

"Our clients are people who fled violence against them in Central America," ACLU Staff Attorney Adriana Lafaille said. "They have been in Mexico between 16 and 18 months -- in some cases living in open air encampments, being exposed daily to danger, and violence, living in cartel-controlled areas where migrants are hunted down."

The ACLU, along with Fish & Richardson, filed a lawsuit against the rule in March of 2020 on behalf of Massachusetts families who have loved ones that were forced to wait in Mexico under the program.

While the policies have not yet been reversed, Federal Judge Indira Talwani issued a preliminary injunction last week that will order the government to admit the group into the Commonwealth to reunite with their families while they prepare their case.

"Now they'll have a better chance at getting legal assistance, presenting their cases adequately, and getting a fair ruling from the immigration court," she said.

WBZ NewsRadio's Art Cohen (@artcohenboston) reports.

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Written by Rachel Armany

(Photo: Getty Images)

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