(Reuters) – Over two hours on June 1, a Honduran teenager named Tania pleaded with a U.S. official not to be returned to Mexico.
Immigration authorities had allowed her mother and younger sisters into the United States two months earlier to pursue claims for asylum in U.S. immigration court. But they sent Tania back to Tijuana on her own, with no money and no place to stay.
US - Official - People - Streets - Tijuana
The 18-year-old said she told the U.S. official she had seen people on the streets of Tijuana linked to the Honduran gang that had terrorized her family. She explained that she did not feel safe there.
After the interview, meant to assess her fear of return to Mexico, she hoped to be reunited with her family in California, she said. Instead, she was sent back to Mexico under a Trump administration policy called the “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP), which has forced more than 11,000 asylum seekers to wait on the Mexican side of the border for their U.S. court cases to be completed. That process can take months.
Tania - Case - Seekers - Mexico - Chances
Tania’s is not an unusual case. Once asylum seekers are ordered to wait in Mexico, their chances of getting that decision reversed on safety grounds – allowing them to wait out their proceedings in the United States – are exceedingly small, a Reuters analysis of U.S. immigration court data from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) shows.
Many migrants and their advocates say they are vulnerable to violence in Mexican border cities, which have some of the highest homicide rates in the world – facing dangers similar to those they fled in their home countries.
Migrants - Program - Reuters - EOIR - Data
Of the 8,718 migrants in the program Reuters identified in the EOIR data, only 106 – about 1% – had their cases transferred off the MPP court docket, allowing them to wait in the United...
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