MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The Mexican Foreign Minister said Wednesday that the number of migrants who returned to Mexico to await the outcome of immigration cases in the United States has declined significantly, although activists said a large number of people are still in the program.
FILE PHOTO: Migrants, most of them asylum seekers sent back to Mexico from the US UU. Under the “Stay in Mexico” program officially called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), they occupy an improvised camp in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, October 28, 2019. REUTERS / Loren Elliott
Since January 2019, the administration of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, has sent migrants, mainly from Central America, to Mexico under a policy called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which is also known as Staying in Mexico.
Politics has been a key element of Trump’s drive to curb irregular immigration and asylum applications in the United States.
“The numbers … show a significant drop,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said at a press conference.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico said around 2,000 migrants were sent to Mexico under the program in January, below a peak of around 12,000 in August last year. The ministry said it expected the number of returns to continue decreasing in February.
Earlier, Ebrard said the number of people waiting for a hearing in the United States in Mexico had reached 50,000 people per month.
However, according to data from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). UU. As of January, a total of approximately 57,000 non-Mexican migrants have been returned since MPP began about a year ago.
The department has not disclosed the number of migrants who still follow their cases from Mexico or a monthly breakdown of returns. Mexico has not published data on how many returnees remain in the country.
Helen Perry, a nurse at the Global Response Management nonprofit that provides care to migrants in the Mexican border city of Matamoros, said her organization has conducted informal surveys and found that more than 2,500 migrants are likely to expect hearings in the United States. Only in that city.
Rogelio Pinal, head of the city’s human rights office in Ciudad Juarez, said that approximately 15,000 MPP migrants currently live in Ciudad Juarez.
Many migrants have to wait weeks or months in Mexico to complete the long US judicial process. UU., Due to delays.
Ebrard added that the number of migrant crossings on the shared border between the United States and Mexico has decreased by approximately 75% in the last eight months.
Report of Lizbeth Diaz in Mexico City and Mica Rosenberg in New York; Additional report by Julio-César Chávez in Ciudad Juárez; written by Julia Love; edition by Frank Jack Daniel; Edition of Chizu Nomiyama and Marguerita Choy