US has sent 13K migrant children back to Mexico this year: report

US has sent 13K migrant children back to Mexico this year: report
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The Trump administration has sent more than 13,000 migrant minors back to Mexico this year to wait out their asylum cases in U.S. courts, according to a Reuters analysis published Friday.

That number reportedly includes more than 400 infants.

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Migrants have been sent to Mexico as part of the new Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as Remain in Mexico, in which Central American asylum seekers are sent back to Mexico after U.S. authorities register them in the immigration court system. Migrants are then forced to wait out their cases in border towns, some of which are among the most dangerous cities in Mexico.

The Trump administration instituted MPP in January, as part of its effort to close so-called loopholes by which asylum seekers were allowed to live and work in the United States while their cases were adjudicated in immigration courts. Democrats have decried the program and other administration initiatives as cruel and inhumane practices meant to deter migration through cruelty.

U.S. border agents are allowed to send families, including children, to Mexico under MPP, but the policy prohibits sending back unaccompanied minors.

Still, minors represent more than a third of the approximately 40,000 people sent to Mexico under the program as of Sept. 1. Since then, the program has swelled to include more than 50,000 people.

According to the Reuters analysis, 5,400 minors have had their cases assigned to San Diego; 5,600 to San Antonio or El Paso, Texas; and 2,000 to Brownsville, Texas.

The Mexican cities nearest those locations are considered some of the most dangerous in the world.

Tijuana, across from San Diego, was ranked as the most violent city in the world last year by the Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice, with a murder rate of 138 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Ciudad Juárez, across from El Paso, ranked fifth, with a rate of 86 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.

Matamoros, the city across from Brownsville, is home to the Gulf Cartel, a violent multinational drug trafficking organization.