Expansion of "remain in Mexico" policy brings tension, fear to border cities

Expansion of "remain in Mexico" policy brings tension, fear to border cities

July 3, 2019

In less than two months, the number of migrants sent to Cuidad Juárez under the program has swelled from 2,800 to 7,600. Human rights groups and a former Mexican government official say migrants aren't safe in the border city.

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – On Monday afternoon, Luis Emilio realized he’d had enough.

The 22-year old Ecuadoran migrant had just spent three days in detention in the United States after seeking asylumonly to be sent back to Mexico until his immigration hearing.

That meant staying in this border city until August under a U.S. government program called the Migrant Protection Protocols, which returns asylum seekers, mainly from Central America, back to Mexico to wait out their asylum bids. The program began in California in January and was expanded to the El Paso ports of entry in March.

By mid-May, about 2,800 migrants were waiting in Ciudad Juárez under the program. As of Monday, that number had swelled to more than 7,600, said Enrique Valenzuela, director of Ciudad Juárez’s Centro de Atención a Migrantes, a migrant transition facility operated by the Chihuahua state government.

Credit by - The texas tribune

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