On human rights, the United States must be a beacon. America is strongest when our policies and actions match our values.More
Home / Press Release / Trump Mexico Deal a Disgrace and Embarrassment
June 08, 2019

Trump Mexico Deal a Disgrace and Embarrassment

New York City—In response to the deal reached today between the United States and Mexico in order to avoid tariffs threatened by President Trump, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

This deal is a disgrace and embarrassment to both countries. The plan to expand the flawed Migrant Protection Protocols will put the lives of even more refugees in danger and trigger more dysfunction and chaos. Asylum seekers returned to Mexico under this illegal scheme are already suffering kidnappings, threats, assaults, and other violence. This is just another chaotic, cruel and counterproductive attempt to block refugees from the United States.      

Human Rights First notes that people seeking refuge are not required to seek asylum in the first country they set foot in. In fact, many face grave dangers in neighboring countries, as well as serious risks that they will be returned to their country of persecution. 

Instead of more attempts to block and punish people seeking refuge, the United States needs real solutions that restore order and uphold America’s refugee laws and treaty commitments, including:  

  • Tackle the root causes pushing people to flee the Northern Triangle countries through a targeted strategy that leverages both diplomacy and aid, focusing on effective programs that reduce violence, combat corruption, strengthen rule of law, protect vulnerable populations and promote sustainable economic development.
  • Launch a major initiative to enhance the capacity of Mexico and other countries—which are already hosting growing numbers of refugees—to provide asylum, host, protect, and integrate refugees, along with a robust regional resettlement initiative that provides orderly routes to the United States and other countries while safeguarding asylum.
  • Immediately end the dysfunction at the border, and instead launch a public-private humanitarian initiative and a long overdue case management system to actually manage asylum cases. 
  • Fix the asylum and immigration court adjudication systems to provide fair, non-politicized and timely decisions.  

For more information see Human Rights First’s blueprint: The Real Solution: Regional Response Rather than Border Closures, Mass Incarceration, and Refugee Returns. To speak with Acer contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.