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To the Editor of La Prensa,

Let's be clear: The Trump administration has illegally trapped nearly 60,000 asylum-seekers in Mexico, and is forcing thousands more to wait for weeks and months to even apply. These attacks have broken with decades of bipartisan policy and are endangering vulnerable people who are looking for shelter at our doorstep.

On Tuesday, we'll be in court fighting one of Trump's several attempts to gut the asylum system. As we prepare, we want to share Julia's story with you.

'Julia' (a pseudonym) is a Nicaraguan teenager who fled her home after participating in student-led protests. On June 20, 2018, Julia was tear-gassed while peacefully marching in the streets. As she ran away, one of her friends was shot in the head and killed next to her.

As the government cracked down on protestors, her family was visited by men who said they were supporters of the government. They told her sister that they would kill Julia along with her entire family.

So, she went on the run.

Thinking that the U.S. would be a safe haven for her, she traveled to the border near El Paso, Texas, where she asked for asylum. There, she was placed into the “Migrant Protection Protocols” – also called “Remain in Mexico” a new program unrolled this year that forces asylum-seekers who have reached the U.S. back to Mexico where they have to fend for themselves while awaiting their court dates in the U.S.

Now Julia is stuck in Ciudad Juarez, a city known for cartel-related violence and mysterious disappearances of young women.

Her story isn't unique. Across Mexico, people who have been placed into the MPP face insecurity, homelessness, and extreme danger. Human rights groups have documented a pattern of asylum-seekers being targeted for extortion and kidnapping by criminal groups – and even police officers – while they wait for their cases to be heard.

The MPP is illegal. The Trump administration is trying to make racism and xenophobia the law of the land, and frightened asylum-seekers at the southern border are one of its main targets.

But the ACLU is fighting back. We're in court challenging the MPP along with the other attacks on asylum-seekers the government has tried to implement.

Thanks for your support,

Ashoka Mukpo
ACLU Staff Reporter
December 5, 2019

 

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2019 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12/17/19 06:07:46 -0800.

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