By Debbie Nathan, The Intercept, October 2019
With the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols program, or MPP, expanding along the southern border and trapping more U.S. asylum-seekers in dangerous Mexican cities, violations of due process are intensifying in traditional courts — and in newly built tents that physically separate immigrants from the judges who hear their cases.
Under MPP, U.S. officials send asylum-seekers back into Mexico instead of allowing them to stay in the U.S. while they develop their claims. Almost 50,000 people have been put into the program since early this year, and the number is expected to double in the next several months. “We’re getting more integrity into the system to deter those who don’t have valid claims from making the journey,” Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan said recently.
But an unknown number of people in MPP do have valid cases, yet are being discouraged from pursuing asylum, and they are being pressured to return to the dangers that they fled. Baja California’s federal delegate has said that about half the Central American migrants who’ve been returned to Tijuana and Mexicali have decided to go back to their home countries.
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