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The "Migration Protection Protocols" program sent 25,700 asylum seekers to Mexican border cities.
Social activists Wednesday gathered in San Diego, California, to protest against the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP) program due to human rights abuses occurring in the places to which migrants are sent.
Since it began to be implemented a year ago, the "Remain-In-Mexico" policy requires asylum seekers arriving by land at the U.S./Mexico border to return to Mexico to await their asylum hearing in U.S. immigration court.
The "Human Rights First" organization holds that there are 816 documented cases of kidnapping, extortion, rape, homicide, torture, and assaults that asylum seekers have suffered.
"In Mexican border cities, violence against migrants, who are not Mexican and have no families, are at levels that we have not seen in the past," the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer Monika Langarica said and added that "this can no longer have any justification, nor continue another day."
Hector and his 15-year-old daughter, Cristi, fled Honduras when a gang threatened Cristi so she would work for them. When we met them, Hector and Cristi had been living on the streets of Matamoros, Mexico for more than a month because of #RemainInMexico. #Faith4Asylumpic.twitter.com/GVK4ZTBa4e
As a result of President Donald Trump's policy, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began implementing on Jan. 29, 2019, some 25,700 people have been returned to Tijuana and Mexicali so far.
“Trump and his administration tried to get rid of a political problem without even addressing the humanitarian crisis. In the process, they have turned their backs on the international community,” Democratic lawmaker Joaquin Castro commented.
“When this policy was first implemented, we warned that it would cause chaos and further wear down the core values of our nation. And that's what it has done,” Southern Poverty Law Center activist Melissa Crow said.
The Hope Border Institute also said that the "U.S. government is returning migrants to one of the states with the highest homicide rates in Mexico, including a large number of families, children, and babies."