The governments of Mexico and the United States have agreed to expand the “Remain in Mexico” policy (also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols), forcing people seeking asylum in the US to wait out legal proceedings in violent areas of Mexico.
This week, the policy was expanded to Nuevo Laredo, a border city in Tamaulipas state that is controlled by criminal groups. According to testimonies collected by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the moment migrants and asylum seekers arrive in Nuevo Laredo, they become targets for criminals, facing robbery, assault, extortion, kidnapping, and murder.
Even the US State Department has placed a level four travel advisory on Tamaulipas State—their highest advisory level, often used for war zones. In this interview, María Hernández of MSF’s coordination team in Mexico talks about the dangerous humanitarian consequences of this policy.