Salvadoran asylum-seeker forced to wait in Mexico under inhumane Trump policy kidnapped, murdered
A Salvadoran asylum-seeker who had been forced to wait out his case in Mexico for four months under inhumane and illegal Trump administration policy was kidnapped and murdered last month, The New York Times reports. “Mexican authorities said the man was ‘dismembered’ and they are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.”
Despite a false claim from Homeland Security that Migrant Protection Protocols, or Remain in Mexico, has “successfully provided protections” to returned asylum-seekers, human rights leaders said violence against them has surged, documenting nearly 640 cases to date. Nearly 140 of these instances have involved kidnappings. The administration’s policy has been a boon to thugs and cartels, who’ve stooped to targeting asylum-seekers as they’re being sent to Mexico or trying to return to the U.S. for court dates in order to extort them or relatives.
The asylum-seeker, whose identify has not been revealed to protect his widow and two children, had found work at a pizzeria when he was targeted, kidnapped, and killed. "They sent us back,” his widow said. “We said Tijuana was really dangerous, there was a lot of crime but they didn't listen to us. They said that they couldn't do anything because those were Trump's orders.” Some public servants have recognized Trump’s orders are illegal, however.
Doug Stephens, believed to be the first asylum officer to formally refuse to implement Remain in Mexico, said last month that the policy “is violating numerous domestic and international laws by sending people back and causing this harm.” He said he knew he could no longer do his job when “it seemed clear” someone he was interviewing would be harmed if they were returned to Mexico, but he was told by a superior to reject the claim. “I was not really surprised,” he said. “The interviews as they’re structured are clearly designed to make individuals fail and send everyone back without really giving them a fair shot.”
The asylum-seeker’s widow said they were trying to do everything right by doing what they were told to do, but this is a system that’s not set up to implement asylum law: It’s set up to block it, and at horrific human costs. “We didn't cross over illegally, we crossed over the right way, we waited our turn to do things right,” she said. “That's why this is so unfair.” NBC News San Diego reports that only now is the family in San Diego, with their attorney working to have them placed with relatives in San Francisco.