Charanya Krishnaswami, advocacy director for the Americas at Amnesty International USA, issued this statement:
“The Trump administration is not only abandoning people in their most desperate hour, it is actively putting them in harm’s way. Forcing people seeking protection in the United States to stay in Mexico while their claims are processed is irresponsible, cruel, and a stark violation of international law.
“By pushing people back to Mexico, the United States is putting asylum-seekers at risk of exploitation, sexual assault, murder, and even the possibility of being disappeared. If authorities expand this plan, people seeking protection will face the impossible choice of taking any risks necessary to seek safety or returning back home to danger.
“The administration must immediately stop playing with people’s lives and put an end to this heartless plan.”
For years, Amnesty International has documented the dangers faced by people seeking protection while traveling through Mexico. As recently as fall 2018, researchers observed Mexican immigration officials forcibly returning people seeking protection back to their home countries, in violation of international law.