Metering/Turn Back Policy
“Metering” is a process by which the U.S. government refuses to accept people for inspection and processing at U.S. ports of entry along the southern border. Instead, people seeking entry are turned back to Mexico where they are placed on unofficial waitlists and must wait, often for months, for their turn to present at the border. Litigation challenging the legality of metering is pending in federal court in California, but the policy remains in effect.
Under the Asylum Ban 2.0, asylum seekers who tried, but could not enter the U.S. prior to the effective date of the ban because of metering, were deemed ineligible to apply for asylum. However, a preliminary injunction order from the court in Al Otro Lado v. Wolf issued in March 2020 restored the right to seek asylum for the class of asylum seekers who were turned back or metered and barred from seeking asylum before July 16, 2019.