Mexico asks the U.S. for conditions to resume return of asylum seekers

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The Mexican government has asked Washington for various conditions before restarting a Trump-era program that forces U.S. asylum to wait for their court hearings in the Latin American country, the Mexican Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, implemented by former President Donald Trump, could be reinstated in coming days after a federal judge ordered Joe Biden's government to restart it.

"The government of Mexico ... has raised various concerns of a humanitarian nature regarding the asylum procedure in the United States," the Mexican Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

This week Reuters reported that the Biden administration and Mexico had not yet agreed to restart the MPP program because certain conditions must first be met.

Among conditions, Mexico asked to accelerate development programs for southern Mexico and Central America in order to address the root causes of migration.

Mexico also requested that Washington offer migrants medical attention and vaccination against COVID-19; respect designated return points; provide "additional resources" for shelters and non-governmental organizations to improve the conditions for migrants waiting in Mexico; and provide legal advice for the migrants so that their processes can "be carried out as expeditiously as possible."

"The Government of Mexico emphasizes that ... it requires the Government of the United States to promptly address these humanitarian measures," said the Foreign Ministry.

"The Ministry of Foreign Relations (...) awaits a formal response from the United States government," he added.

(Reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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