A new version of the Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPPs, is expected to come into effect this week at ports along the southwestern border. The Biden administration was bound by a court order to revive the controversial Trump-era policy. But the new administration is also extending it.
Tens of thousands of asylum seekers have been forced to wait out US immigration hearings under Trump. But only those from Spanish-speaking countries and Brazil were eligible for the MPP under Trump.
The new policy expands to include countries throughout the Western Hemisphere, according to a Department of Homeland Security memo released last week. This means that Haitians will now also be included.
Rodney Montreuil is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Haitian American Center for Social and Economic Development in Phoenix. He spoke with dozens of Haitians making the trip.
“Some of them are already in Mexico, or on their way to Mexico, or were about to cross the borders. And then, now, they have no more resources,” he said.
Haitians have come to the United States in increasing numbers as the country reels from political unrest, poverty and natural disasters. Haitian migrants have also reported facing racial discrimination and violence at the hands or organized crime in Mexico, issues Montreuil says he spoke of often.
The DHS memo released last week said that under the new MPP, unaccompanied children are exempt, as they were under Trump, as well as elderly migrants, those in the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities. and other groups deemed vulnerable.
Montreuil says that with all the factors going on in Haiti, he hoped that Haitians would also be exempt. Now he doesn’t know what the next step is.