NIJC Condemns the Biden Administration For Expanding and Reinstating the Dangerous and Inhumane Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP):
MPP Survivor Shares Her Reaction
Today the Biden administration announced its intention to begin returning asylum seekers to Mexico through the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program. Initiated by the Trump administration, the “Remain in Mexico” program forced more than 70,000 migrants and asylum seekers to wait in deadly conditions in Mexico, ultimately granting asylum to only 1% of those individuals. The Biden administration’s MPP policy expands the nationalities subject to forcible returns to Mexico, for the first time including Haitians, Brazilians, and other people from the Western Hemisphere. The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) condemns the administration for reinstating MPP and for failing to protect migrants and their legal right to seek asylum.
NIJC has worked with many individuals who faced unimaginable violence under MPP, including women and children who were kidnapped, extorted, and sexually assaulted. Karla*, one of NIJC’s clients subjected to MPP, was, along with her daughter, kidnapped by a cartel and threatened with death. As a direct result of their kidnapping, Karla and her daughter missed their court date. When they escaped, they fled to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers on the border and begged for assistance. Rather than offer them protection, DHS accused them of lying and threatened to return them back to Mexico.
Karla shared the following:
“The government should not restart MPP because it is terrible. The people who are coming here have already suffered a lot. I want the U.S. government and the president to understand that they should give people an opportunity to arrive to this country and present their case. Maybe they are doing this because they have never been through the kind of suffering we have been through, so they don’t understand what it is like to be told to wait in Mexico. They don’t know what it is like to be kidnapped with your child and not know what will happen. I want them to understand that reality. The only thing we want is protection for us and for our children. We know that this is a country where there are laws and people respect them and there is justice. The only thing we are looking for is protection.”
Lisa Koop, associate director of Legal Services of NIJC, responded to the administration’s announcement with this statement:
“The Biden administration bears full responsibility for this reinstatement and expansion of MPP. Any suggestion that this was inevitable or that this version of MPP will be more humane rings hollow given the realities in the courts and on the ground. The administration claimed in their second termination notice to recognize the human rights and due process violations implicit in MPP but now plan to expand the scope of the program’s cruelty. Meanwhile, disturbing reports reveal members of the Biden administration co-signed the Trump program along with their continued use of deadly Title 42 expulsions for their own anti-asylum purposes. Every child, adult, or family subjected to this reinstatement will suffer because this administration failed to uphold their lawful right to seek asylum on U.S. soil.
“Any version of MPP, even one with attempted humanitarian safeguards, will place thousands of migrants and asylum seekers in danger. Once again, NIJC calls on the Biden administration to end this inhumane program.”
*Karla has requested the use of a pseudonym for protection.