MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) – President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday downplayed concerns about the living conditions of thousands of asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico under a US program that President Joe Biden is striving to unravel. Humanitarian organizations have documented cases of assaults, extortion, kidnapping and sexual violence against members of the program. Most are from Central America, and many live in crammed shelters and apartments in dangerous border towns or a seedy tent city in the far northeast of Mexico. López Obrador questioned the accounts, saying he had “other data” and that his government would publish a report on the migrants next week. “We have been taking care of the migrants and we have been careful that their human rights are not affected,” López Obrador said at a press conference. “… It is nothing like before, when they were kidnapped and disappeared. We have been vigilant and have protected them.” The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, under the new Biden administration, said Wednesday it would end all new enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, which since 2019 has mandated more than 65,000 applicants. asylum to wait in Mexico for their hearings in US courts. , sometimes for months or even years. The announcement did not specify what will happen to the tens of thousands currently waiting in Mexico under the program, saying only that “they should remain where they are, pending more official information from US government officials.”
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