First migrants sent to Mexico from US under reboot of Trump-era scheme

The United States has returned the first two migrants to Mexico since restarting a program begun under the Trump administration to remove asylum seekers from U.S. soil, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Wednesday.

The United States and Mexico last week agreed to relaunch the controversial scheme known as Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) that obliges asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. immigration hearings, in keeping with a federal court order.

Mexico made the restart conditional on Washington meeting certain criteria, including offering vaccines to asylum seekers and exempting vulnerable people from expulsion.

The first two migrants returned under the revamped scheme entered Mexico at a border crossing in Ciudad Juarez opposite El Paso, Texas, according to a spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration.

One of the two men, who identified himself as Enrique Manzanares from Nicaragua, said he felt a little sad, but gave thanks to God that he was still alive.

“In the end, nothing was lost,” Manzanares told Reuters. “Some of us make it, others don’t.”

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