Concerns Linger as Administration, Mexico Restart MPP

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden administration and Mexico have reached an agreement to restart the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), or the “Remain in Mexico” program, according to guidance today from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

According to a DHS press release, “Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has repeatedly stated that MPP has endemic flaws, imposed unjustifiable human costs, pulled resources and personnel away from other priority efforts, and failed to address the root causes of irregular migration.” But DHS is complying with a court injunction while it works separately to re-terminate the program, today’s guidance states.

Among the provisions laid out in the guidance are that people enrolled in MPP will have access to legal counsel, and that Title 42 will take precedence, with MPP applying to people who are not covered or are excepted from Title 42. In addition, those eligible will be provided COVID-19 vaccinations, and proof of vaccination will be required to re-enter the U.S.

“This announcement raises concerns, particularly given the serious human rights and due process concerns the last iteration of MPP posed,” said Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “Regarding access to counsel, the administration needs to make sure it is providing that access in deed, not just in word.

“We also continue to be concerned about the use of Title 42 to summarily turn back migrants at the border, especially given the vaccination requirement under MPP. Beyond the immediate term, it is imperative that the administration find new paths forward to creating a humane, secure and orderly asylum system.”


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