The Remain in Mexico program for migrants who entered the U.S. without documents and claimed to be seeking asylum has expanded to another Mexican border city, with the arrival of ten migrants to Nuevo Laredo. They had been sent there from the Texas border city of Laredo, to wait while their applications are processed in the U.S.
The program, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) is already operating in the Mexican border cities of Tijuana, Mexicali and Ciudad Juarez. Mexican officials report that through the first week in July, over 18,000 mostly Central American migrants have been returned to those cities.
Putting aside the questions of whether the concept of “asylum” can rightfully be applied to large segments of the populations of entire countries, whether these asylum applicants are in fact only economic migrants, and whether information about the dangers involved in the land journey from Central America to the United States should be sufficient deterrent to stop migrants — especially those with families — from attempting the journey, the perils involved in relocating migrants to the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, in which Nuevo Laredo is located, have been pointed out.
This particular city is under direct and compete control of Los Zetas (CDN) cartel. Most sent there will be kidnapped, possibly killed. Bad idea to send anyone into Nuevo Laredo. https://t.co/5xN9iccftf— Brandon Darby (@brandondarby) July 10, 2019
In June 2011, NPR reported that the Mexican army had taken full control of the police departments in some of Tamaulipas state's most troubled cities, including Nuevo Laredo, because the police were suspected of having been deeply infiltrated by Los Zetas.
Even though the migrants have entered this situation of their own volition, authorities might decide to relocate them to safer cities while they wait for their asylum hearing in the United States.
Migrants returned to Mexico under MPP will have the option to stay in Tamaulipas if the shelters have space. They can also choose to be transported further into country, according to Nuevo Laredo officials. That could mitigate some safety concerns.— Valerie Gonzalez (@ValOnTheBorder) July 10, 2019