Groups Urge Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Investigate Administration’s Remain in Mexico Policy
Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today, in partnership with five other human rights and non-profit legal services organizations, requested the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hold a hearing on the Trump Administration’s policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico. The disastrous and unnecessary “Remain in Mexico” policy—officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols—places vulnerable asylum seekers in danger and violates international law. The call came in a letter that further urged the Commission to address the Mexican government’s failure to ensure the human rights protection of those returned under the plan.
“A hearing would allow crucial evidence to be presented to the Commission and the international community about the serious violations of the fundamental human rights of migrants and asylum seekers,” wrote the groups. “The hearing will also address the international and regional human rights norms and national practices regarding the treatment of asylum seekers, and the recommendations that the Commission should make to ensure that the United States and Mexico observe and protect these obligations.”
Human Rights First joined with Al Otro Lado, Clínica Jurídica del Programa Universitario de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Derechos Humanos Integrales en Acción, Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración (IMUMI), and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center. The six organizations have years of experience working to protect the rights of vulnerable refugees and migrants in the United States, Mexico, and across the region. They currently provide legal representation and other services to asylum seekers returned under the Remain in Mexico policy.
In March, two Human Rights First clients were returned to Mexico after their initial immigration court hearings under the Trump Administration’s plan without explanation or notice to their Human Rights First attorney, despite each expressing fear of returning to Mexico. They now wait in danger for their merits hearings which will take place in San Diego next month, where they will present evidence to support their asylum claims.
For more information on the flaws of Remain in Mexico, see Human Rights First’s fact sheet based on research on the policy’s implementation at the border, or click here to learn why Mexico is not safe for all refugees and asylum seekers.