In June 2021, the Biden Administration formally ended the “Remain in Mexico” program. The move was the latest in a series to dismantle the Trump Administration’s restrictive immigration policies. The program is formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), and it was a cornerstone of President Trump’s border management policy. The program forced potential asylum seekers to remain in Mexico to wait out the results of their U.S. immigration court cases.
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What Is The Migrant Protection Protocol?
The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) refers to a U.S. Government action in which certain foreigners entering or seeking admission to the United States from Mexico – whether illegally or without proper documentation – could be forced to return to Mexico and wait there for the rest of their immigration proceedings.
Shortly after the Trump Administration instated the program, more than 56,000 asylum seekers, including 16,000 children — about 500 of which were under 12 months old, were sent back to Mexico.
Why Did Trump’s Administration Create the MPP Program?
The Trump Administration put MPP in place in response to what they called a security and humanitarian crisis on the United States’ southern border. Trump’s administration said the program would restore a safe and orderly immigration process and decrease the number of immigrants taking advantage of the system, smugglers and traffickers preying on vulnerable populations, and reduce threats to national security, public safety, and life.
What Has Been The Effect Of The MPP?
According to Human Rights First, through December 2020 (after the program was implemented), there were at least 1,314 publicly documented cases of kidnapping, assault, rape, and other crimes committed against people sent back to Mexico under MPP. Additionally, multiple people, including at least one child, have died after being sent back under MPP and trying to cross the border again.
The government provided no support for immigrants sent back to Mexico under MPP. This left people to fend for themselves, causing many to end up homeless during their time in Mexico. These issues caused thousands of MPP-subject immigrants to not be able to return to the border for their scheduled court hearings, resulting in them being deported for missing court.
Why Is President Biden’s Administration Ending The MPP?
President Biden has passed many pieces of legislation as part of his immigration reform plans in response to harsh immigration policies under the Trump Administration, including the official ban of family separations at the border.
The secretary of homeland security issued a memo about the elimination of MPP, in which he said, “I have determined that MPP does not adequately or sustainably enhance border management in such a way as to justify the program’s extensive operational burdens and other shortfalls. Over the course of the program, border encounters increased during certain periods and decreased during others.”
Secretary Mayorkas also noted that despite the Trump administration’s goals for the policy to reduce the backlog of asylum cases, the backlogs actually increased during the program.
What Happens Next?
As of now, people with “active” immigration cases can seek entry into the U.S.via the MPP wind-down process. However, immigrants who were ordered removed or whose cases were never filed with the immigration courts are not yet eligible to enter the U.S while the administration works on procedures and processes for new entry guidelines. This is in addition to a wide range of other immigration reform legislation the Biden Administration has passed.
People who were in MPP will likely stay in removal proceedings and are advised to regularly check for their next court hearing date and location. You can do so by calling I-800-898-7180 or visiting https://portal.eoir.justice.gov/.
Who Will Be Affected?
Asylum seekers will be the most impacted by the termination of MPP. They can now rest easy knowing they can wait in the United States and don’t have to make more trip(s) to and from the border, return to dangerous conditions, and risk being separated from their loved ones, kidnapping, trafficking, and smuggling on their quest to receive asylum.
If you have any questions about the end of the MPP program and what it means for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Attorney Eric Price.
Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!
If you entered the U.S. after MPP, and you’re wondering what your next steps are, contact Attorney Price today. Your next steps are crucial, and the help of an experienced immigration attorney is invaluable to your case and your future in America.
There are many options for people placed in MPP from family-based petitions, U-visas, and other protections and rights. Our team of skilled and dedicated attorneys will work to find the best course of action for your unique situation and work to get you legal status in the United States. Attorney Price is nationally known as a “green card lawyer.” Our law firm practices immigration law exclusively. Our dedication and hard work consistently rank us among the best lawyers in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Houston.
Contact us today at 855-662-2772 to schedule your free case evaluation — we look forward to hearing from you!