‘Remain in Mexico’ policy exposes migrants to horrific abuse

Under the recently reinstated policy, asylum seekers at the US border are vulnerable to ‘torture, rape, and death’.

The United States is restarting the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), more commonly known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, under which people seeking asylum are forced to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are pending in the US.

The decision by the Biden administration, in compliance with a court order, has drawn heavy criticism from human rights organisations, with The American Civil Rights Union warning it “will inflict on thousands of additional people seeking asylum the same harms that were well documented under its previous implementation: horrific abuse, including torture, rape, and death”.

The human cost of these policies is incredibly high, says Laura Carlsen, the director of the think-thank, the Americas Program: “Nobody seems to want to take responsibility for what happens to these people. They’re shuttling them all over with no real plan of what they can do to have a livelihood, to survive, to have a future, because these policies are completely shutting them out.”

On UpFront, Marc Lamont Hill speaks with Laura Carlsen in Mexico City, and Marco Castillo, the co-executive director of the international human rights organisation Global Exchange.