The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has slammed the Trump administration for forcing youngsters to “live in horrific and inhuman conditions” in Mexican border cities as a result of its so-called Migrant Protection Protocols, or “Remain in Mexico” coverage.
Pointing to a Human Rights First report, the Hispanic Caucus stated that beneath the controversial rule, greater than 1,000 households had been being pressured to reside on the streets by the Matamoros port of entry, which shares a border with Brownsville, Texas, as a result of they felt it was “too dangerous to leave the area.”
In its report, released earlier this month, Human Rights First stated researchers had noticed an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 asylum seekers, “including hundreds of children and several breast-feeding infants, sleeping in some 300 tents in a plaza abutting the port of entry and in an adjoining park,” whereas others had been pressured to sleep “without any cover on the pavement and sidewalks.”
“Asylum seekers sleeping in the Matamoros port of entry plaza reported they are afraid to venture further into the city,” it stated.
“MPP is forcing youngsters to reside in horrific & inhuman situations, with no entry to wash water or sanitation,” the Hispanic caucus stated in a tweet. “Kids have diarrhea [and] are dehydrated,” it stated.
The Hispanic Caucus’s warning got here as a gaggle of asylum seekers held a protest on Thursday on the worldwide bridge connecting Matamoros and Brownsville.
The caucus stated it will be “monitoring the protest,” which seemed to be peaceable.
Sharing a photograph of the protesters, BuzzFeed reporter Adolfo Flores stated the state of affairs was “calm” and that protesters had been “sitting on the floor.”
“Waiting in Matamoros isn’t easy for immigrants,” the journalist stated. “They’re kidnapped, assaulted and about 1k live on the streets.”
In its report, Human Rights First stated it had recognized a minimum of 343 instances by which asylum seekers affected by the Remain in Mexico coverage had reported being “violently attacked or threatened in Mexico,” together with incidents of kidnapping, rape and different violence.
Despite being greater than triple the 110 incidents Human Rights First stated it had first recognized in August, nonetheless, the group stated it believed its numbers had been a “gross underestimate of the harm to returned asylum seekers.”
“In Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, Tamaulipas, thousands of asylum seekers face acute dangers,” the group stated.
Those risks, it famous, are even outlined within the U.S.’s personal journey advisory for Mexico, with Tamaulipas state listed as a “level 4: Do Not Travel” area as a result of “violent crime, such as murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault” being “common.”
The journey advisory additional warns that “gang activity, including gun battles and blockades” is “widespread,” whereas additionally flagging that “armed criminal groups” are identified to “target public and private passenger buses, as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers hostage and demanding ransom payments.”
Yet, Human Rights First stated, the Department of Homeland Security “returns more than 1,000 asylum seekers there each week…to face these extreme dangers for months as they await immigration hearings in the United States.”
“Under the Trump Administration’s MPP policy, DHS dumps asylum seekers in Mexico to wait for months even though they do not have access to adequate shelter, food, healthcare, or other humanitarian needs,” the group stated in its report.