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Immigration

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U.S. migrant policy sends thousands of children, including babies, back to Mexico
Since January, the U.S. government has ordered 16,000 migrants under 18, including nearly 500 infants, to wait with their families in Mexico for U.S. immigration court hearings, a Reuters analysis of government data found.

Along the U.S.-Mexico border, babies and toddlers are living in high-crime cities - often in crowded shelters and tents or on the streets - for the weeks or months it takes to get a U.S. asylum hearing.

The risk of violence and illness runs high and is of particular concern for families with young children or those with chronic health conditions, according to interviews with health professionals, migrants, aid workers and advocates.
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Guatemalan asylum seeker Maylin A. Choc Xo, 1, rests in her mother's arms in an encampment where they...
Matamoros, Mexico
A 1-year old Guatemalan asylum seeker rests in her mother's arms in an encampment where they live near...
Guatemalan asylum seeker Maylin A. Choc Xo, 1, rests in her mother's arms in an encampment where they live after being sent back under the "Remain in Mexico" program officially named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, holds...
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, holds...
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, holds her 9-month-old son Jacob Kaleb to give him medicine at Casa del Migrante migrant shelter in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico September 23, 2019. Picture taken September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
RTS2QLLN
October 11, 2019
Guatemalan asylum seeker Nery R. Choc plays with his daughter Maylin A. Choc Xo in an encampment near...
Matamoros, Mexico
A Guatemalan asylum seeker plays with his daughter in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge...
Guatemalan asylum seeker Nery R. Choc plays with his daughter Maylin A. Choc Xo in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge after being sent back under the "Remain In Mexico" program officially named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Packages with medicines are pictured at a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico September 28, 2019. Picture...
Tijuana, Mexico
Packages with medicines are pictured at a migrant shelter in Tijuana
Packages with medicines are pictured at a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico September 28, 2019. Picture taken September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Alejandro Gutierrez
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Migrants receive donated baby food outside a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico September 28, 2019. Picture...
Tijuana, Mexico
Migrants receive donated baby food outside a migrant shelter in Tijuana
Migrants receive donated baby food outside a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico September 28, 2019. Picture taken September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Alejandro Gutierrez
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Andrea, a migrant mother from Guatemala returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, holds her...
Tijuana, Mexico
Andrea, a migrant mother from Guatemala returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, holds her...
Andrea, a migrant mother from Guatemala returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, holds her 18 month old son Fabian outside a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico September 28, 2019. Picture taken September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Alejandro Gutierrez
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Mexican asylum seeker Elicia Gonzalez, 3, plays with Santiago Gonzalez, her five-month-old brother in...
Matamoros, Mexico
Mexican asylum seekers play in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge where they have been...
Mexican asylum seeker Elicia Gonzalez, 3, plays with Santiago Gonzalez, her five-month-old brother in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge where they have been waiting to seek asylum in the U.S. in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Honduran asylum seeker Daisy V. Villalobos, 32, carries her five-month-old daughter Jimena L. Montoya...
Matamoros, Mexico
A Honduran asylum seeker carries her daughter in an encampment where they live near the Gateway International...
Honduran asylum seeker Daisy V. Villalobos, 32, carries her five-month-old daughter Jimena L. Montoya in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge where they have been living for nearly two months after being sent back under the "Remain in Mexico" program officially named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Nicaraguan asylum seeker Valentina, ten months old, sleeps in an encampment near the Gateway International...
Matamoros, Mexico
Nicaraguan asylum seeker, Valentina, 10 months old, sleeps in an encampment near the Gateway International...
Nicaraguan asylum seeker Valentina, ten months old, sleeps in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge where she has been living for the last two weeks with her mother and siblings after being sent back under the "Remain in Mexico" program officially named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Nicaraguan asylum seeker Valentina, ten months old, sleeps in an encampment near the Gateway International...
Matamoros, Mexico
Nicaraguan asylum seeker, Valentina, 10 months old, sleeps in an encampment near the Gateway International...
Nicaraguan asylum seeker Valentina, ten months old, sleeps in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge where she has been living for the last two weeks with her mother and siblings after being sent back under the "Remain in Mexico" program officially named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Guatemalan asylum seekers Nery R. Choc, his wife Biviana C. Xo and their daughter Maylin A. Choc Xo,...
Matamoros, Mexico
Guatemalan asylum seekers pass their time with their daughter in an encampment near the Gateway International...
Guatemalan asylum seekers Nery R. Choc, his wife Biviana C. Xo and their daughter Maylin A. Choc Xo, 1, pass their time in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge after being sent back under the "Remain in Mexico" program officially named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Honduran asylum seeker Daisy V. Villalobos, 32, carries her five-month-old daughter Jimena L. Montoya...
Matamoros, Mexico
A Honduran asylum seeker carries her daughter in an encampment where they live near the Gateway International...
Honduran asylum seeker Daisy V. Villalobos, 32, carries her five-month-old daughter Jimena L. Montoya in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge where they have been living for nearly two months after being sent back under the "Remain in Mexico" program officially named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
El Salvadoran asylum seeker Wendy, carries her eight-month-old daughter Pamela, in an encampment near...
Matamoros, Mexico
El Salvadoran asylum seeker carries her eight-month-old daughter in an encampment where they live near...
El Salvadoran asylum seeker Wendy, carries her eight-month-old daughter Pamela, in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge where they have been living for about a month after they were sent back under the "Remain in Mexico" program officially named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
RTS2QLMS
October 11, 2019
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, feeds...
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, feeds...
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, feeds her 9-month-old son Jacob Kaleb at Casa del Migrante migrant shelter in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico September 23, 2019. Picture taken September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Blanca Aguilar, 27, from Guatemala, helps her son Adrian, 2, put on his sandals outside the tent they...
Tijuana, Mexico
Blanca Aguilar, 27, from Guatemala, helps her son Adrian, 2, put on his sandals outside the tent they...
Blanca Aguilar, 27, from Guatemala, helps her son Adrian, 2, put on his sandals outside the tent they are sleeping in a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico September 28, 2019. Picture taken September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Alejandro Gutierrez
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
RTS2QLMM
October 11, 2019
Migrant children play at a migrant encampment in Tijuana, Mexico September 28, 2019. Picture taken September...
Tijuana, Mexico
Migrant children play at a migrant encampment in Tijuana
Migrant children play at a migrant encampment in Tijuana, Mexico September 28, 2019. Picture taken September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Alejandro Gutierrez
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
RTS2QLMW
October 11, 2019
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, shares...
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, shares...
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, shares a moment with her 3 children at Casa del Migrante migrant shelter in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico September 23, 2019. Picture taken September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
RTS2QLMO
October 11, 2019
Flor, a 9-year old Guatemalan girl returned to Mexico to await her asylum hearing, dives into a tent...
Tijuana, Mexico
Flor, a 9-year old Guatemalan girl returned to Mexico to await her asylum hearing, dives into a tent...
Flor, a 9-year old Guatemalan girl returned to Mexico to await her asylum hearing, dives into a tent in a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico September 28, 2019. Picture taken September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Alejandro Gutierrez
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
RTS2QLMB
October 11, 2019
Guatemalan asylum seekers Nery R. Choc, his wife Biviana C. Xo and their daughter Maylin A. Choc Xo,...
Matamoros, Mexico
Guatemalan asylum seekers pass their time with their daughter in an encampment near the Gateway International...
Guatemalan asylum seekers Nery R. Choc, his wife Biviana C. Xo and their daughter Maylin A. Choc Xo, 1, pass their time in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge after being sent back under the "Remain in Mexico" program officially named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
RTS2QLM3
October 11, 2019
El Salvadoran asylum seeker Wendy, carries her eight-month-old daughter Pamela, in an encampment near...
Matamoros, Mexico
El Salvadoran asylum seeker carries her eight-month-old daughter in an encampment where they live near...
El Salvadoran asylum seeker Wendy, carries her eight-month-old daughter Pamela, in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge where they have been living for about a month after they were sent back under the "Remain in Mexico" program officially named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, prepares...
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, prepares...
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, prepares a feeding bottle for her son at Casa del Migrante migrant shelter in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico September 24, 2019. Picture taken September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Honduran asylum seeker Daisy V. Villalobos, 32, breast-feeds her five-month-old daughter Jimena L. Montoya...
Matamoros, Mexico
A Honduran asylum seeker breast-feeds her 5-month old daughter in an encampment where they live near...
Honduran asylum seeker Daisy V. Villalobos, 32, breast-feeds her five-month-old daughter Jimena L. Montoya in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge where they have been living for nearly two months after being sent back under the "Remain in Mexico" program in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
RTS2QLLT
October 11, 2019
Mexican asylum seeker Guadalupe Galvez, 27, carries her son Fabian Gonzalez, 1, in an encampment near...
Matamoros, Mexico
A Mexican asylum seeker carries her son in an encampment where they live near the Gateway International...
Mexican asylum seeker Guadalupe Galvez, 27, carries her son Fabian Gonzalez, 1, in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge where they have been waiting to seek asylum in the U.S. for over a week in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
RTS2QLLL
October 11, 2019
Honduran asylum seeker Daisy V. Villalobos, 32, rests with her 5-month old daughter Jimena L. Montoya...
Matamoros, Mexico
Honduran asylum seeker Daisy V. Villalobos rests with her five-month-old daughter in an encampment where...
Honduran asylum seeker Daisy V. Villalobos, 32, rests with her 5-month old daughter Jimena L. Montoya in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge where they have been living for nearly two months after being sent back under the "Remain in Mexico" program in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
RTS2QLMJ
October 11, 2019
Marla Suniga, 34, from Honduras, holds her daughter Montserrat in a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico...
Tijuana, Mexico
Marla Suniga, 34, from Honduras, holds her daughter Montserrat in a migrant shelter in Tijuana
Marla Suniga, 34, from Honduras, holds her daughter Montserrat in a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico September 28, 2019. Picture taken September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Alejandro Gutierrez
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
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October 11, 2019
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, carries...
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, carries...
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, carries her 9-month-old son Jacob Kaleb at Casa del Migrante migrant shelter while leaving for their court hearing in the U.S., in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico September 25, 2019. Picture taken September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
RTS2QLO5
October 11, 2019
A migrant child is silhouetted while walking between tents in a migrant encampment in Tijuana, Mexico...
Tijuana, Mexico
A migrant child is silhouetted while walking between tents in a migrant encampment in Tijuana
A migrant child is silhouetted while walking between tents in a migrant encampment in Tijuana, Mexico September 28, 2019. Picture taken September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Alejandro Gutierrez
USA-IMMIGRATION/BABIES
RTS2QLMV
October 11, 2019
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, walks...
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, walks...
Jennifer, a migrant mother from El Salvador returned to Mexico to await her U.S. asylum hearing, walks with her children as they head to Paso del Norte border bridge to cross into the U.S. for their court hearing, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico September 25, 2019. Picture taken September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
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