As border rules make it more difficult for migrants seeking asylum in the U.S., they are also vulnerable to deportation to Mexico where they may become victims to criminal groups and corrupt officials, the New York Times reports. As Washington aims to deter migrants from heading illegally to the U.S. through Mexican territory, Mexico's role will become more significant with the lifting of the COVID-era Title 42 policy, which halted the entry of many migrants at the border and allowed the U.S. authorities to expel them rapidly. In talks with the Biden administration, Mexico said it would accept non-Mexican migrants sent back from the U.S. under the new rules and would process them for Mexican asylum. However, seeking asylum in Mexico is just as difficult as they struggle amid an overload of cases lingering for years without resolution.
Human rights groups say migrants expelled to Mexican cities along the U.S. border face daily horrors at the hands of criminal organizations and, in some cases, the same government agencies that Washington is leaning on to help stanch the flow of migrants at the border. Since the beginning of the Biden presidency, there have been nearly 13,500 attacks against people deported to Mexico from the U.S. or blocked from crossing the border, says a report from Human Rights First, an advocacy group. The report said that, in some cases, Mexican officials have colluded with criminal organizations to extort migrants by imposing fees to travel and orchestrating kidnappings. The Mexican government says that more than 2,000 migrants were kidnapped by criminal organizations last year.