A new report by journalist and writer Debbie Nathan at The Intercept suggests that President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy — which forces migrants seeking asylum in nearby border cities to wait their turn to cross — is having disturbing consequences, including exposing asylum seekers to kidnapping, rape, and murder.
Although the action referred to as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPPs), the policy reportedly puts migrants into danger more than it protects them. It ensures that migrants wait for crossing in Mexican border cities — which are riddled with crime — until the United States courts determine if their asylum claims are valid. Many of the cities housing these migrants — including Juárez, one of the 50 most violent cities on the planet — are deemed unsafe for travel by the United States State Department.
The Intercept reports that migrants are more at danger in these cities than Americans, as these migrants are relocated to cities where they lack local ties, meaning residents often don’t know, or care, if the migrants are beaten, robbed, raped, or murdered — all things they are reportedly at a “severe risk” of experiencing. Even children aren’t safe — a Salvadoran woman with her 14-year-old, 10-year-old, and 3-year-old were kidnapped and held for ransom in Juárez, which was eventually paid by the family of a California immigration lawyer.
“It seems that the only victimized migrants who are guaranteed under the MPP to achieve relief from future harm are those who no longer need relief from anything, because they are dead,” Nathan writes in her piece.
One U.S. asylum officer speaking under anonymity said he believes the MPP standard violates the law, as it breaks the international law that deems it illegal for the U.S. government to send people to countries where they are under the threat of violence. Although many civil rights groups — including the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center — are arguing against the MPP, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the MPP can remain in effect until the lawsuit is settled.
Under President Donald Trump, the White House and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been attacked for their treatment of migrants in the U.S. Per The Inquisitr, Senator Jeff Merkley claimed that ICE detention centers, which he said are run by for-profit companies, are creating “the largest child prison in American history.”
Merkley also blasted the Congress bill that funneled $4.6 billion into the Department of Homeland Security to address the migrant crisis. He claimed that this money won’t “change the blockade of children at the border, being left in Mexico,” and will instead fuel the current “for-profit system.”