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Tent Courts To Open on Border
News Bytes 09/12/2019 19 Comments

The Trump administration is opening a law court on the country’s southern border. The court will help handle tens of thousands of cases for asylum seekers waiting in Mexico. Only this court won’t be built of marble or steel: It’s a tent.

The administration introduced its “Remain in Mexico” policy in January. The policy is part of the U.S. response to a large increase in asylum-seeking families, especially from South America. Critics have attacked the plan because it forces families and young children to wait in violent Mexico border cities.

About 40,000 non-Mexican asylum seekers have been forced to wait in Mexico while their cases wind through clogged U.S. immigration courts, according to the Mexican government.

A giant tent court, or “soft-sided” facility, will begin operations Monday in Laredo, Texas. Another should open soon in the Rio Grande Valley, the busiest corridor for illegal crossings. Each court will manage as many as 300 cases a day, says Alberto Flores, port director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Judges will appear on a large screen from another city.

“Everything is going to be virtual,” says Flores.

Tent courts hold four courtrooms for initial scheduling hearings. Each one seats about 50 migrants at a time in rows of benches. There are folding tables available if migrants need to approach the video camera that feeds images to the far-away judge. There’s also a children’s waiting area with brightly colored, kid-sized chairs and baby-changing tables near an area with portable toilets.

Migrants who fear persecution in both Mexico and their home country can appeal to an asylum officer who will interview them from an office in Houston.

Mexico’s immigration crackdown has led to a sharp drop in illegal crossings. In August, U.S. Border Patrol arrests along the Mexico border fell to their lowest level since January—though they’re still fairly high.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has commended Mexico’s “meaningful . . . steps to help curb the flow of illegal immigration.”

(Stuffed animals, story books, and small chairs fill the juvenile waiting area at the Migrant Protection Protocols Immigration Hearing Facilities in Laredo, Texas. Ricardo Santos/The Laredo Morning Times via AP)

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Most recent comments

1st Comment!!!

um...I can't comment until I know what asylum in?


asylum is a place of refuge and is often provided by the government

Nadia A., there are a couple

Nadia A., there are a couple of different definitions, but the one used in this article is: "The protection granted by a nation to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee." I just Googled it, and that's what their dictionary says. Does that help? Also, about the article, I am not sure if this is good or bad. I'm going to go with good, because the refugees are getting help, but I am still a little confused about the whole issue in general.


I'd say it's good. Without doubt. Maybe it will decrease illegal immigrants.

This could really be a good thing!

I think that this would really help a lot. It's nice that they have areas for the kids to play. I've seen things where families get separated at the border, trying to get in. Maybe this will prevent that!

@ Asher e and Lena P

thanks a lot!! now aout the articul....

Hope this goes OK.

I hope this gose ok and the people dion't get mad or something!! i don't understand why all these politicians are talking about the USA mistreating migrants.

I agree with Nadia! And it

I agree with Nadia! And it sounds like this will help illegal immigration a lot which is good! Nadia how old are you? And where do you live? I live in Indio California, and I am 13 years old. Do you do Ambleside online? I do. I also think Asher and Lena for their explanation of an asylum ! It was really helpful!

@ Viven W

I can't tell my age on here but I live in Fort Wayne Indiana.

Janna (Daniel's sister)

I had a kid in my class who's family came to the US illegally. I'm glad we have a way now for them to get in legally and not illegally. (@ Vivien W. Tom Brady has a daughter named Vivian, like your name except yours is spelled with a e instead of an a.=) )

I hope these asylums help

I hope these asylums help lots of people.

@ Nadia and Vivien

Glad to help! Also Vivien, I know your questions were for Nadia, but I do Ambleside Online too! Do you like it?

Ambleside Online

what is that?

@Nadia A.

I do Ambleside online too!
This is what it says on their website:
Ambleside Online is a free homeschool curriculum that uses Charlotte Mason's classically-based principles to prepare children for a life of rich relationships with everything around them: God, humanity, and the natural world. AO's detailed schedules, time-tested methods, and extensive teacher resources allow parents to focus effectively on the unique needs of each child.
There website is

@ Rebecca F

Wow Rebecca! That's so neat that you do Ambleside! What year are you in and what is your favorite story? I am in year 7 and I really like the Brendan Voyage and all the Lord of the Rings! I'm 13, how old are you?

That's so cool that you live

That's so cool that you live in Indiana! Mabey we could write each other sometime since we are both Christian girls!

Hi Lena!

I love Ambleside online! What is your favorite book? What year are you in? I am in your seven. My favorite books last year were the hobbit , And the book of marvels. I'm not quite sure what my favorite book is this year because I haven't gotten that far in any of them. How old are you and where do you live? I am 13 and I live in Indio California.

@ viven

Was that to me?

@ Vivien W.

I am in year 9. I would rather not give personal info like where I live or how old I am (sorry), but so far in school this year I am enjoying the books Gulliver's Travels and Pride and Prejudice. I'm so glad you like Ambleside Online! I do too, it has been really helpful for our family. Have you been homeschooled your whole life?

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