Jul 1, 2019

O'Rourke: Trump admin's "Remain in Mexico" migrant policy is inhumane

Presidential candidate hopeful for the Democratic Party, Beto O'Rourke meets a Central American migrant child during a visit to a shelter in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, Mexico on June 30, 2019.

A migrant child meets Democratic 2020 candidate Beto O'Rourke at a shelter in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke told CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" policy for asylum-seekers is "inhumane" and "causing suffering and death."

Details: In the former Texas congressman's first foreign trip as a 2020 candidate, O'Rourke has traveled to Mexico to meet with Central American migrant families who sought asylum in the U.S. only to be turned away at the southern border.

The big picture: The Trump administration announced last month the expansion of the "Remain in Mexico" policy, officially known as Migrant Protection Protocols, as part of its trade agreement with the Mexican government.

The other side: The administration believes the policy is a key tool in dealing with a surge of migrants at the southern border. There have been more border arrests so far this fiscal year than in any other full fiscal year in the past decade with close to 600,000 migrant arrests.

By the numbers: Border apprehension numbers fell in June after steep figures in the 3 previous months, with the U.S. Border Patrol apprehending roughly 87,000 unauthorized immigrants.

  • The drop enables acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan to tout that the June 7 deal the U.S. struck with Mexico to stem the flow of migration is working, per Axios' Alayna Treene.

Yes, but: Current and former DHS officials told Axios that border crossings tend to dip in the hotter summer months and it's nearly impossible to tell if a policy change is effective after a few weeks, let alone a few months, Alayna notes.

Go deeper: Beto O'Rourke on the issues, in under 500 words

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