Immigration Law

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Two immigrant-rights lawyers say they don’t know who placed Interpol alerts on their passports that led to them being denied entry to Mexico last week.

But one lawyer suspects the U.S. government is to blame, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The lawyers are leaders of the nonprofit Al Otro Lado, which has advised the migrant caravan in Tijuana, The group has also filed a suit claiming U.S. Customs and Border Protection is denying access to the asylum process.

Two photojournalists who had photographed members of the migrant caravan say they were also turned away from Mexico because of alerts on their passports.

The two lawyers are Nora Phillips and Erika Pinheiro.

Phillips is the legal and litigation director for Al Otro Lado. In a news conference in Los Angeles on Friday, Phillips said she was detained on Thursday after flying to Guadalajara because of the passport alert. She and her 7-year-old daughter had to sleep on the floor and had no food or water during their nine-hour detention, she said. The Los Angeles Times covered her remarks.

“I think this is retaliation,” Phillips said. “I think this is because we sued the U.S. government. I think it’s that we’re pointing out gross, flagrant human rights violations being committed by the U.S. government, and they don’t like that.”

Pinheiro is the policy and litigation director of Al Otro Lado. She said she was also turned away last Monday when she tried to cross into Mexico.