Author: Daniella Burgi-Palomino
202-546-7070 | firstname.lastname@example.org
December 20, 2018
LAWG condemns U.S. plan to send asylum seekers to danger in Mexico
Washington D.C.–The Latin America Working Group (LAWG) strongly condemns the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to keep asylum seekers in Mexico throughout the duration of their U.S. immigration proceedings. This unilateral decision was announced despite U.S. and Mexican NGOs’ opposition to previously announced “Remain in Mexico” proposals. Additionally, it is in violation of immigration law authorized by Congress to process asylum seekers in the United States. The official DHS press release provides no details regarding the plan’s implementation or duration. In its statement, the Mexican government announced that it will accept the entry of migrants as a “temporary and humanitarian” measure.
“The United States continues to deflect its responsibility under its own law and international law to offer individuals access to protection. Instead, it chooses to leave families and children in direct danger and turns away those fleeing persecution from our border. This is yet another illegal and shameful measure and will not deter individuals from seeking safety,” states Daniella Burgi-Palomino, Senior Associate for Mexico, Migrant Rights, and Border Issues.
LAWG has documented the dangers that migrants face along Mexico’s northern border from organized crime and Mexican migration and law enforcement officials. This was evident in the murder of two Honduran youth just yesterday in Tijuana. Current NGO documentation from Tijuana reflects the risk migrants are currently exposed to as a result of limited access to seek protection in the United States and the challenges they face with regards to shelter and safety in Mexico, particularly women and unaccompanied children. Mexico is not safe for many migrants, and its asylum system remains weak and underfunded, which LAWG has also documented.