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March 10, 2021

RICO expert hired by prosecutor investigating Trump call
By Michelle Watkins

On President Joe Biden’s first day in office, the Department of Homeland Security suspended the Migrant Protection Protocols, and by late February asylum-seekers were being screened for COVID-19 and allowed into the United States. The change elicited enormous relief among the more than 15,000 migrants at that point stuck in the camps in northern Mexico. But the border reopened too late for most of the 41,247 migrants whose cases were rejected while they “remained in Mexico.” The Matamoros camp, next to the international bridge to the United States, Dec. 9, 2019. John Moore/Getty Images Dangers of waiting The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, where I research immigration enforcement, collects and analyzes government records procured through the Freedom of Information Act. Records we obtained from the Department of Justice show that 71,036 total asylum cases were filed from Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols, which lasted from January 2019 until January 2021. So far, 41,888 cases have been completed or closed. Of those, just 641 people were granted asylum or otherwise given shelter in the United States, an approval rate of 1.5%. In 2017, by contrast, 40% of asylum-seekers had their claims granted by a U.S. immigration judge. Of the 41,888 cases completed under the Migrant Protection Protocols, 32,659 asylum-seekers received a deportation order from an immigration judge – even though they were not physically in the United States. Most of these – 27,898 – received deportation orders because they did not appear for their immigration court hearing on the U.S. side of the border.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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