SAN ANTONIO – The Trump administration's Migrant Protection Protocol, also known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy, is now under fire.
Former San Antonio mayor and presidential candidate Julian Castro traveled to Matamoros, Mexico, and crossed back into Brownsville with a group of asylum-seekers. He said the group members should be allowed to wait for their court dates here in the U.S.
Castro said they were told the cases would be reviewed but, hours later, the group was returned to Mexico.
The group consisted of 12 LGBTQ migrants and a migrant who is deaf.
Castro argued they should not fall under the MPP.
“They're subjected to violence in their home country and, even here and under the terms of MPP, if you have a physical issue. This person is deaf. This person has a disability or a mental health issue. Many (are) members of the LGBTQ community who have been beat up, subjected to violence," Castro said, "They're experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. They're experiencing trauma. And that qualifies as a mental health issue."
Supporters of the policy said releasing asylum-seekers into the U.S. with notices to appear in court would encourage more people to come.
More than 42,000 people have been returned to Mexico since MPP took effect in January.
Civil rights groups argue these migrants are placed in a dangerous situation when they are returned to Mexico.