The US begins returning migrants to the Mexican border city

The US begins returning migrants to the Mexican border city

On Wednesday, the United States began returning migrants to the Mexican city of Tijuana, Mexican authorities and the United Nations migration agency said, in an appeal to a Trump plan that asked asylum seekers waiting for US court hearings in Mexico. 

Last month, the US agreed to relaunch the controversial program known as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), in line with a US federal court order.

The program first resumed at the international crossing linking El Paso, Texas, in December. More than 200 people returned to Mexico under the MPP's relaunch, according to the UN's International Organization for Migration (OIM).

On Wednesday, two of the immigrants were returned to Tijuana, across from California, with future appointments to US courts, a bureau official told Reuters.

Migrant rights group Etru Lado told Reuters that the two men were Colombians.

The refugee agency and United Nations defense groups have criticized the restart of Trump-era policy, warning migrants of the danger of kidnapping, rape, and extortion in dangerous Mexican border towns.

Under the original 2019 program, about 70,000 immigrants seeking asylum were forced to wait weeks and sometimes years in Mexico for a US court appointment rather than wait for hearings in the US.

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