Mexico: U.S. ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy Violates Human Rights

Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray (R) shakes hands with US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen in Mexico City on March 26, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / RONALDO SCHEMIDT (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

The government of Mexico took an official stance against the “Zero Tolerance” policy by condemning the matter as cruel, inhumane, and a violation of “human rights.”

In a televised statement, Mexico’s Foreign Relations Minister Luis Videgaray said the official stance was to condemn the practice in the strongest possible way. While he said the U.S. is a sovereign nation, Mexico cannot be indifferent to “clear human rights violation.”

Videgaray is referring to the current Zero Tolerance policy that calls for the prosecution of all illegal immigration cases, including misdemeanors. The policy was implemented after years of a practice where a large number of immigration cases went unchecked through another practice called Catch-and-Release. According to U.S. immigration officials, the separation of families comes when “family units” detained at the border are taken before a judge for prosecution. 

According to Videgaray, of the 1,905 cases of children separated, only 21–one percent–are from Mexico. The majority of children are from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Of those cases, most are sent back to Mexico to be reunited with relatives. Currently, only seven children from Mexico remain in federal custody. 

One of the cases highlighted by Videgaray dealt with a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome housed at a center in McAllen, Texas, after she and her mother were arrested for crossing illegally. The girl’s mother was sent to a detention center in Brownsville. Consular officials in Mexico are working to reunite the child with her father, a U.S. legal resident, while the mother goes through the court system. 

In other cases, Videgaray claimed 12 children were taken to various centers throughout the nation while the parents were moved to a detention center in Seattle, Washington. 

Tony Aranda is a contributing writer for Breitbart Texas.

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