February 24, 2020
The “Remain in Mexico” policy, or so-called “Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP),” has not only mandated the return of more than 60,000 asylum seekers, including at least 16,000 children, to dangerous conditions in Mexico, it also represents yet another devastating form of family separation under the Trump administration.
Already, MPP has forced hundreds of children apart from their parents and other family members. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported that, from October 1, 2019 to January 13, 2020, it received referrals of over 350 unaccompanied children now in the U.S. whose families remained in Mexico. In a number of such cases, children’s parents disappeared amid widespread kidnappings and other harm perpetrated by criminal groups against MPP asylum seekers, leaving the affected children alone in Mexico and facing heightened peril. Though the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintains that unaccompanied children are not subject to MPP, it is clear that numerous children have become unaccompanied due precisely to this policy.