HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. government will expand its policy requiring asylum seekers to wait outside the country to one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities.
The Department of Homeland Security said Friday it will implement its “Migrant Protection Protocols” in Brownsville, Texas, across the border from Matamoros, Mexico. DHS says it anticipates the first asylum seekers will be sent back to Mexico starting Friday.
Thousands of people are already camped in Matamoros, at the eastern edge of the U.S.-Mexico border. An official waiting list to seek asylum has more than 1,000 people.
Matamoros is in Mexico’s Tamaulipas state, which the U.S. government warns citizens not to visit due to violence and kidnappings.
The city is also near where a Salvadoran father and his 23-month-old daughter were found drowned in the Rio Grande, in photos that were shared around the world.