The United States' "Remain in Mexico" policy—officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)—has forced at least 60,000 asylum seekers back to Mexico to await their hearings since February 2019. Some people have waited for months, others for more than a year. Many wait in makeshift tent camps along the Rio Grande in dangerous border cities such as Matamoros, Reynosa, and Nuevo Laredo, all in Tamaulipas state.
Tamaulipas state is designated by the US State Department of State with a level four “do not travel” warning due to the extreme dangers of crime and kidnapping. This is the same warning level applied to active conflict zones such as Yemen and Syria. As of May 2020, there were more than 1,000 publicly reported cases of murder, rape, torture, kidnapping, and other violent assaults against asylum seekers and migrants forced to return to Mexico under the MPP, according to Human Rights First.