Human Rights Watch details crimes like abuse, abduction and extortion, but Biden’s team warns that progress is not immediate.
The new U.S. President Joe Biden has been urged to scrap a “devastating” migration scheme that activists claim has exposed tens of thousands of asylum seekers in some of the most dangerous cities in the world to abuse, trafficking and rape, many of them children. In January 2019, the Trump administration launched the “Stay in Mexico” program to discourage asylum seekers seeking to cross the southern border. The program – officially known as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) – allows asylum claimants, as has been the case in the past, to await their court hearings in Mexican border cities such as Ciudad Juárez, Mexicali and Matamoros instead of in the U.S. But activists argued that in an unfamiliar and unsafe climate with some of the highest murder rates in the world, this exposes high-risk migrants, mainly from Central and South America, to physical harm and disease. In a report released Wednesday, Human Rights Watch explained how Trump’s strategy “unnecessarily and predictably exposes [asylum seekers]to significant risk of serious harm.” “completely shocked by what the U.S. government is doing to people.”completely shocked by what the U.S. government is doing to people.”The really shocking thing, given the constant reports of really, really serious risks to people housed in the MPP – or sent back to Mexico after attending hearings in the U.S. – is that U.S. authorities have continued to house people in the MPP, even during the pandemic, and have consistently refused to take people out of the [program]when they presented evidence of that harm,”The really shocking thing, given the constant reports of really, really serious risks to people housed in the MPP – or sent back to Mexico after attending U.S. hearings – is that U.S. authorities have continued to house people in the M. “There is a connection there,” he said, referencing Australia’s longer-running offshore detention policy, “I can’t help but draw comparisons to other contexts I’ve seen. The deportation of people who only come to a country to seek safety, and not just the deportation, but those people’s intentional or at least knowing risk. Donald Trump proposed steps such as Remain in Mexico-which
Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, told Efe that Remain in Mexico has “been a disaster from the start and has led to a humanitarian crisis in northern Mexico.” “But implementing the new policy will take time,” he said. Bochenek said campaigners needed to see “no rush to the border” after Biden took office. “But it’s reasonable to expect a controlled and orderly dismantling of the [MPP] system,” he said. “It doesn’t have to take months. It can be done in a relatively short period of time with the right planning,” he said. “I’m confident that we can take the [Biden] campaign promises at face value and see the kind of orderly yet expeditious end to the program that we’re hoping for.”