Cuban Abel Oset Jr., center, and his father Abel Oset, behind him, show their identification to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer before their appointments to apply for asylum in United States, as they cross International Bridge 1 to leave Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and enter Laredo, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. Tent courtrooms opened Monday in two Texas border cities to help process thousands of migrants who are being forced by the Trump administration to wait in Mexico while their requests for asylum wind through clogged immigration courts. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Migrants anxious before court dates in Texas tents

September 17, 2019 - 8:56 am

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico (AP) — Dozens of migrants headed to an international bridge over the Rio Grande for an asylum hearing inside a tent court in Laredo, Texas.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan headed to the area to tour the new facility on Tuesday, a day after it opened.

The Department of Homeland Security had said it planned to spend $155 million to build and operate the tent courts, but it expects the costs to ultimately be less than that.

Critics have denounced the proceedings because they are closed to the public and difficult for attorneys to access to provide legal representation.

Cuban migrant Abel Oset and his son were among those who hoped they would be able to stay in the U.S. He must convince a judge he is afraid to return to Mexico.

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Associated Press Writer Colleen Long contributed to this report from Washington.