Under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, Mexico agreed on June 7 to expand the program, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, or ‘Remain in Mexico’, which forces mostly Central American asylum seekers arriving at the U.S. southern border to await the outcome of their U.S. asylum claims in Mexico.
Close to 12,000 people have been returned to Mexico since it began in January, according to official reports.
Mayra Enriquez traveled overland from Honduras to the United States with her husband. She was returned to Mexico but is awaiting her husband who remains in the United States.
Amanda Valdez was sent back to Mexico without her father. Without money and no way to get in touch with family in Guatemala, she is worried about what she will do in Mexico.
Rosa Hernandez, from Honduras, was separated from her daughter and nephew when she entered the United States. Now returned to Mexico, she does not know where her loved ones are.
Mexico has sought to stop the flow of migrants heading to the northern border with the United States. But if enforcement measures are not successful after 45 days, Mexico has also agreed to consider making itself a “safe third country.” Asylum seekers who first set foot on Mexican soil would have to apply for refugee status in Mexico instead of in the United States.
(Production: Jose Luis Gonzalez, Rodolfo Pena Roja)