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refugees, southern border, asylum seekers, Barr v. East Bay


Human Rights Law | International Law | Law | Law and Society


I sat in a small room in Tijuana, Mexico with a 13-year-old indigenous Mayan Guatemalan girl.

She left Guatemala after a cartel murdered her friend and threatened to rape her. Her mother wanted her to live and believed the only way for her to survive was to send her daughter alone to the U.S., to apply for asylum Now she was alone and stuck in Mexico. Every morning, the Guatemalan girl, along with other asylum seekers, would frantically gather at the Tijuana-U.S. border where they waited to hear their name or their number called so the Mexican government could escort them to the U.S. border.

As the director of the Immigration Clinic, I was in Tijuana, with my law student from the Vanderbilt University Law School Immigration Practice Clinic. In the clinic, we represent asylum seekers in deportation proceedings before the U.S. immigration courts. We traveled to the Tijuana border in December to volunteer with the legal services nonprofit Al Otro Lado.



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