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Sept. 13, 2018 – The Trump administration´s intentions to pay the Mexican government millions of dollars to deport irregular migrants is risky business that must not be permitted, said Amnesty International today. This came in response to a New York Times article printed 13 September detailing $20 million dollars of foreign assistance proposed by the Trump administration to US Congress for the deportation of at least 17,000 irregular migrants by the Mexican government.
“It is totally unconscionable for a country with the resources that the United States has to outsource its international obligations to protect human lives and create a wall of inhumanity with Mexico,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
Today, Mexican government officials were quoted publicly saying that they will refuse to receive this money from the United States. Nevertheless, once approved in the Merida Initiative, there is no guarantee that funds set aside for deportation will not be used and such verbal promises must be met with action.
The proposed funding for deportations would be included in the Merida Initiative, a foreign assistance package from the US to Mexico which is updated on an annual basis in the US Congress. This would be the first time that funds are explicitly set aside in the Merida Initiative for the deportation of irregular migrants and asylum seekers.
“Instead of focusing international cooperation on attending to the human rights crisis in the region, Mexico and the United States continue to discuss ways to increase detentions and deportations of families and people fleeing for their lives from countries stricken by violence such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Honduras, not to mention refugees from other parts of the world.”
Amnesty International recently published a report that demonstrates that the Mexican government is failing to meet its treaty obligations under international law to respect the rights of those in need of international protection.
If the US were to fund Mexican deportations, thousands of lives would be at risk.
“The Mexican government must honour its tradition as a country of migrants and refuse to play a double standard with people travelling through its country. This deportation fund must be eliminated immediately, and the US Congress must do its part to ensure this happens.”