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US ACLU files complaint against returning pregnant asylum-seekers to Mexico

23:20  27 september  2019
23:20  27 september  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

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The American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint “demanding an immediate end” to the government returning pregnant asylum - seekers to Mexico . A group of Mexican asylum seekers wait near the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Mexico on Aug. 30, 2019.Veronica G

Asylum seekers already returned to Mexico under the MPP have been facing an extremely precarious situation. There, they encounter a severe Meanwhile, asylum seekers forced to remain in Mexico have no meaningful access to due process. Immigration attorneys and advocates in El Paso

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint "demanding an immediate end" to the government turning away pregnant asylum-seekers under the Trump administration's remain in Mexico policy.

a group of people riding on the back of a woman: Image:© Veronica G. Cardenas Image:

The Department of Homeland Security "has returned a significant number of pregnant women to Mexico … exposing them to further harm" in dangerous border towns, the ACLU of Texas and the ACLU Border Rights Center said in a complaint Thursday. The complaint, filed to the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General, called for a full investigation and immediate end to the practice.

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“The Trump administration is forcibly returning asylum seekers to danger in Mexico ,” said Judy Rabinovitz, deputy director of the ACLU ’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.“Once again, the administration is breaking the law in order to deter asylum seekers from seeking safety in the United States.”

The ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging a new Trump administration policy requiring most asylum - seekers to wait in Mexico while their case is Several groups on Thursday filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's policy that requires Central American asylum - seekers to wait

"Pregnant women should never have to worry about their safety or their health during pregnancy, and yet this is the situation [Customs and Border Protection] is forcing upon these expecting mothers," Astrid Dominguez, director of the ACLU Border Rights Center, said in a statement.

"While the pregnant women we interviewed are among the most at-risk, there are thousands more suffering as the federal government continues to deny their right to seek asylum under the unlawful return to Mexico program," she said. "We urge the Office of Inspector General to investigate the ongoing mistreatment of pregnant asylum seekers and demand an immediate end to the practice of removing vulnerable people into dangerous situations."

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The complaint details the experiences of 17 asylum-seekers who are or were pregnant when they were sent back to Mexico to wait for their immigration cases to play out. The ACLU said the women reported mistreatment, lack of medical care and unsafe living conditions.

More than 40,000 migrants have been sent back to Mexican border towns since the policy began in Tijuana in late January.

In the complaint, the ACLU wrote that a Honduran migrant who is eight months pregnant and was returned to Mexico in August said while she was detained in the U.S. a woman in uniform told her "she should abort her baby because 'Trump didn't want there to be any more pregnant people here.'" The woman said she has had no prenatal care in Mexico, according to the ACLU.

A 22-year-old Guatemalan woman who is five months pregnant told the ACLU that three days after being returned to Mexico she was hospitalized and treated for an infection and dehydration, according to the complaint.

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The Struggle Of A Pregnant Asylum Seeker On The U.S.- Mexico Border. The ACLU filed a complaint last week against the Department of Homeland Security for turning away pregnant asylum seekers .

ACLU Files Complaint Demanding Immediate Stop to Forced Return of Pregnant Asylum Seekers to Mexico . BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and the ACLU Border Rights Center filed a complaint on Thursday demanding an immediate end to the practice of

The ACLU also wrote that a 25-year-old Guatemalan woman who is six months pregnant said agents told her the president does not want them in the country and that was why they were being sent back.

"After CBP returned her to Matamoros, with no money or support, she was forced to live at the migrant encampment on the street," the ACLU wrote. "She had been sleeping in the open air until being gifted a tent two weeks prior to ACLU staff interviewing her, however, she had already developed backpain and a cough."

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to request for comment on the complaint.

The Trump administration has defended the policy as necessary to weed out "fraudulent" asylum claims amid the influx of Central American families coming to the border.

In April, a federal judge temporarily blocked the policy but weeks later the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the government to resume sending people back as a legal challenge to it plays out in court.

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