Our media report this month covers the expanded use of power by individual Border Patrol agents, which have the potential to profoundly impact the outcome of asylum-seekers’ cases; the disappointing ruling by the Supreme Court upholding the “public charge rule,” and a recently released study that demonstrates the high numbers of people who are killed or assaulted following their deportation from the U.S. to El Salvador.
1) Border Patrol agents’ expanded powers: Under the Trump administration, individual Border Patrol agents possess extraordinary discretion to determine where migrants go: if they remain in the U.S, are sent to Mexico under MPP, are rapidly deported, or other outcomes. These decisions have significant impacts on both short- and long-term safety and well-being. Read more here: https://www.propublica.org/article/women-to-one-side-men-to-the-other-how-the-border-patrol-new-powers-and-old-carelessness-separated-a-family
2) Supreme Court upholds “public charge” rule: The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling in late January, allowed the current administration to expand efforts to deny green cards to immigrants who are deemed likely to be a “public charge”; that is, to make potential or occasional use of public benefits such as food stamps or Medicaid. This is nearly certain to cause significant economic and health-related challenges to thousands of people. Read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/27/us/supreme-court-trump-green-cards.html
3) Hundreds of Salvadorans murdered or harmed after deportation from U.S.: A recently released study from Human Rights Watch found that 138 people were murdered following their deportation to El Salvador from the United States between 2013 and 2019, and at least 70 others were abused or assaulted. The dangers present in the country have been well-documented, as is the lack of response to violence by authorities. International law prohibits the U.S. from returning people to a country where they face grave danger. Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/05/salvadorans-deported-us-killed-abused-report