SAN DIEGO — Immigration lawyers say requiring asylum seekers to use an appointment app with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to get through ports of entry could put some at a disadvantage.
The Department of Homeland Security believes this will make the asylum process more efficient and also prevent people from gathering near the border, which they say creates unsafe conditions.
While the intention is good, some immigration attorneys have told FOX 5 that the new requirement could do more harm than good to the asylum seeker.
The app is called CBPOne. This is a portal for various CBP services.
With the app, migrants will be able to schedule their arrival time at the port of entry for screening and processing, rather than arriving at the port of entry unannounced or trying to cross another port of entry.
Unless they are released, asylum seekers cannot be allowed to enter the United States to seek protection due to the Section 42 public health order.
Andrew Nietor, an immigration attorney who represents refugees and asylum seekers on both sides of the border, told FOX 5 that he is concerned the requirement will put the most vulnerable migrants at a disadvantage and possibly even danger.
“Of course, there is a big problem at the border. Some people would call it a crisis, but it’s almost a crisis that we created ourselves,” Nietor said. “We have Section 42 – a public health law that is being abused as a tool of immigration enforcement – that has created this humanitarian crisis where there is a bottleneck of legitimate asylum seekers arriving at the border but not even being able to do so. their job is to come and apply for asylum.”
Nietor continued: “They make this dangerous journey to get to the US border and then they’re told, ‘Sorry, you need to find a way to buy an iPhone, then download the app, provide personal information, and find a place to wait.’ for a couple of weeks while we make an appointment. This is simply unrealistic, and it will put the most vulnerable in an even more precarious position.”
Nietor also has serious concerns about the program, as it is about security and privacy.
San Ysidro is one of eight ports of entry participating in the new CBP One program.