Many people in California with some level of involvement with the immigration system have been deeply concerned about the changes to asylum procedure advanced by the Trump administration. Seeking asylum is already challenging, and the new procedures may leave already-vulnerable people in greater danger. One family from Guatemala was reunited in the United States after they filed a lawsuit against their separation under the so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy of the administration. The mother, father and three children were reunited in Boston after spending seven months separated due to the policy.

Reunification settled challenge to policy

The reunification came after the government sought to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of the family. Almost 60,000 people seeking asylum, fleeing persecution in their home countries, have been returned to Mexico to await further proceedings in their asylum applications. Immigration lawyers and advocates have criticized the policy, saying that people fleeing violence may be at greater risk in Mexico. In several cases, however, families applying together for asylum at the southern border have been separated, often by sex. In this case, the mother and two daughters were allowed to enter the U.S. to proceed with their claim while the father and 9-year-old son were transferred back to Mexico.

Threats to safety in Mexico

According to their lawyers, the family’s time in Mexico included serious dangers. The father and son were subjected to an attempted kidnapping. After that incident, they faced hunger due to remaining in hiding to avoid another such attack. There are multiple lawsuits in progress challenging the policy, including a case filed in a California federal court representing 11 migrants forced to return to Mexico.

Whether you’re an asylum seeker or green card applicant, you may have concerns about how changes to U.S. immigration law and policies may affect your ability to adjust your status or remain in the country. Widespread coverage of family separation and strict asylum guidelines may raise further worries. An immigration law attorney could help you to understand the complex processes involved and protect your rights.