Asylum-seekers get attorney access before return to Mexico

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal judge says a Guatemalan family seeking asylum in the United States cannot be forced to wait in Mexico as their case winds through U.S. immigration court without being allowed to consult an attorney before and during interviews with American authorities to determine if it is safe.

District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego granted a temporary restraining order late Tuesday to prevent the family of seven from being returned to Mexico without attorney access. He scheduled a hearing Dec. 13 on whether his ruling should apply to all asylum-seekers being returned from California to wait.

The Trump administration introduced the “Remain in Mexico” policy in January and, within nine months, returned more than 55,000 asylum-seekers through crossings in California and Texas.

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