Tuesday, August 20, 2019 | Updated at 2:07 PM ET


Dozens Of Central American Migrants Return Home, Opting Not To ‘Remain In Mexico’

First Posted: Jul 16, 2019 04:22 AM EDT

Mexico: Nearly 70 Central American migrants were taken back to their home countries yesterday on buses from Mexico, where they had remained while they awaited their asylum hearings in the United States. Mexico's Foreign Relations Department said their returns home were voluntary. The migrants decided to return home rather than wait for the cases to be decided, which could take a year and a half.

The group, which was made up of 40 Hondurans, 22 Guatemalans, and seven Salvadorans, was part of the "remain in Mexico" program. The Trump administration program, which sends asylum seekers back to Mexico to await their hearings, has been condemned by immigration advocates and lawyers, who say it causes confusion and fear in migrants. A report by Human Rights Watch claims migrants forced to wait in Mexico face violence, kidnapping, and sexual assault.

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