Asylum seekers who are stranded in Mexican territory are exposed to sexual violence, kidnapping, human trafficking, and forced recruitment by criminal groups.
On Thursday, July 21, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) denounced that the United States Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), known as “Remain-in-Mexico”, has affected over 75,000 migrants on the Mexican border.
The IRC assured that Title 42, a measure imposed by the Donald Trump administration (2017-2021) to deport migrants on the grounds of the pandemic, generated over 2 million expulsions and violated the right of people to seek asylum.
“The implementation of harmful border policies during the previous U.S. administration, which are still in place, has resulted in Mexico being forced to meet growing humanitarian needs,” said Rafael Velasquez, the IRC’s director for Mexico.
This international organization interviewed almost 900 people in Tijuana, Mexicali, Nogales and Ciudad Juarez, on the northern border of Mexico, where the MPP forces them to stay while the U.S. authorities process their asylum requests. About 96 percent of the people surveyed reported having no means of subsistence and 17 percent of the migrants are completely dependent on humanitarian assistance.
More than half of the people surveyed had experienced insecurity or a crime in Mexico. The most reported risks were sexual violence (23 percent), kidnapping (19 percent), and threats (16 percent). The RIC research also highlighted that children and women are among the groups most at risk of sexual violence.
Migrants at the border are also exposed to exploitation, human trafficking, and forced recruitment by criminal groups. Almost 90 percent of the people interviewed indicated that they need access to health services and 25 percent of them are in serious health conditions.
On the other hand, 83 percent of those surveyed cannot cover their daily food and 34 percent meditate on the streets in order to survive.