A report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch, an international nongovernmental organization, urged the U.S. government to cease returning asylum-seekers to Mexico, where they are increasingly facing “dangerous and unlivable conditions." The report was based on interviews and court cases in the U.S. and Mexico in May.
"Remain in Mexico," officially known as the Migrant Protection Policy, or MPP, is still one of the only border crackdown efforts imposed by the Trump administration that has not been shut down by the courts.
“We get here, desperate from our country, we’re looking for protection," Palma said. "We leave not because we want to. We leave because it’s a necessity."
Since their return to Mexico, Palma’s family has been staying at a shelter in Juárez that Palma feels is not safe for her or her family.
A scar from heart surgery on the chest of her youngest daughter, Sophia, 3, constantly reminds Palma of one of her worst fears: not getting good medical care at the shelter if something were to happen to Sophia.
“I ask President Trump to put his hand on his heart,” she said crying, pleading with him to end the "Remain in Mexico" policy.
Palma said that local gangs and mafias have tried to kidnap her children four times. She said she has seen cases where they have taken family members from a shelter and extorted relatives for money.
“Here in Juárez, we feel like we’re in jail," she said. "We don’t go out.”
“I know it’s a risk to go with kids, but unless you live in our situation, it's better you don’t share your opinion," Palma said. "I am not risking my kids’ life because I want to. If I stay behind, they will kill my children."