Congressman Cleaver Crosses Gateway International Bridge into Matamoros, MX Refugee Camp

Feb 13, 2020
Press Release

(Brownsville, TX) – This week, United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO) visited Matamoros, MX to witness firsthand the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or as it is more commonly referred, the “Remain in Mexico” policy. Marking one year since implementation this week, the policy has created an unmitigated human rights disaster on our southern border. There are nearly 60,000 asylum seekers stranded in Mexico awaiting court hearings in the United States for months on end. Refugee camps stretch the southern border from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.

According to the Human Rights First Organization, there are over 800 hundred reported cases of murder, rape, kidnappings, and other violent assaults while waiting on the southern border. For those refugees with credible claims that are unable to satisfy the administration in proving their asylum case, poverty, persecution, and potentially death await back home. The Human Rights Watch released a report on the impact of U.S. deportations to El Salvador – one of the many Central American countries where refugees originate – and found hundreds of refugees have been murdered upon return.


“The United States of America, once a global leader on refugee protection and the shining city upon a hill, continues to force asylum-seeking families to endure violence and insecurity while placing unreasonable burdens on what ought to be a fair process for asylum.” – said, Congressman Cleaver

“We are not only forcing people who are fleeing unimaginable violence into months-long waits in the face of grave danger, but we retraumatize these families by detaining them if they make it through this arduous and unjust asylum process. The administration has demonstrated a complete disregard for due process. What I witnessed this week, was an utter disgrace.”


On Wednesday, Congressman Cleaver joined 110 House Democrats calling on Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf to immediately end the “Remain in Mexico” policy.



Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Juan Ramiro Sarmiento at 816-842-4545 or