A Mexican soldier patrols the makeshift migrant camp at the base of Paso del Norte International Bridge in Ciudad Juarez. Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Thursday to stop two U.S. immigration pilot programs that the group alleges strip asylum seekers of their legal rights and instead fast-track them for deportation back to violent countries.
The Prompt Asylum Claim Review and the Humanitarian Asylum Review Process, programs that began in El Paso, deny immigrants access to adequate counsel before their interviews with asylum officers, the ACLU of Texas; ACLU of Washington, D.C.; and ACLU national office allege in the filing. The PACR program generally applies to non-Mexicans, and HARP affects Mexican asylum seekers.
The ACLU offices filed the suit on behalf of Salvadorans and Mexicans who were ordered removed from the U.S. after being placed in the programs. El Paso-based Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center is also listed as a plaintiff. The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C.