The Department of Homeland Security said it was ending the Trump administration’s “stay in Mexico” policy in a “quick and orderly manner” after the lifting of a district court injunction that required DHS to reapply the MPP in good faith.
“Individuals are no longer newly enrolled in MPP, and individuals currently in MPP in Mexico will be unenrolled upon their return for their next scheduled court date. Individuals deregistered from MPP will continue their removal process to the United States,” DHS said in a statement Monday. “As Secretary Mayorkas said, the MPP has endemic flaws, imposes unjustifiable human costs, and draws resources and personnel away from other priority efforts to secure our border.”
Migrant Protection Protocols (MPPs) were launched in January 2019 to return to Mexico, while their removal process to the United States is underway, nationals of Western Hemisphere countries other than Mexico who arrive from Mexico by land.
On June 1, 2021, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas determined that the Migrant Protection Protocols should be terminated. On August 13, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas determined in Texas vs. Biden that the June 1 memo was not issued in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act and the INA and directed the Department of Homeland Security to “enforce and implement the MPP in good faith” . The 5th United States Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision.
After another review of the program – which found “extreme violence” against pending migrants in Mexico, an inadequate non-refoulement screening process, obstacles for migrants in accessing a lawyer and receiving sufficient information about their hearings, growing backlogs in immigration courts and asylum offices, and other factors – Mayorkas issued another memorandum on October 29 to end the MPP. DHS has also asked the Supreme Court to hear the case.
On June 30, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the Biden administration and against Texas and Missouri, states that argued DHS violated immigration law when it struck down the MPP. The case was remanded to the District Court and the Supreme Court’s decision became legally binding on August 1. On Monday afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk reversed last year’s ruling requiring the administration to reinstate the MPP.
DHS said this week that MPP enrollees “should follow instructions on their court documents and tear-off sheets to appear on the scheduled court date, as required.”
“DHS continues to enforce our country’s immigration and public health laws, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Title 42 Public Health Order, as required by court order,” the department continued. “Individuals encountered at the Southwest border who cannot establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed or deported.”
“Factual information about this process is available from official US government sources and international organizations that work with governments in the region, including the United States. Do not believe smugglers or others claiming to have proprietary information.
A July DHS report stated that from December 6, 2021 to June 30, 2022, a total of 9,653 non-citizens were registered with the MPP and 5,765 non-citizens were returned to Mexico after initial registrations.
This includes 2,243 registrations in May and 2,395 registrations in June, and 1,459 returns to Mexico in May and 1,382 returns in June.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday that DHS had restarted its process to terminate the MPP, which she said “was flawed, inhumane and ineffective.”
Acting Assistant Secretary for Borders and Immigration in the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans Blas Nuñez-Neto told the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, the facilitation and operations on March 2 that Mayorkas believes the MPP’s “endemic flaws” include “that it imposed unjustifiable human costs on migrants, subverted the asylum system, diverted resources and personnel from other efforts priorities and failed to address the root causes of irregular migration”, and the program is ultimately beyond repair.
CBP established dedicated MPP teams comprised of Office of Field Operations and Border Patrol personnel who assisted port and station personnel with questions or concerns regarding the implementation of MPP procedures. . The DHS Office of the Immigration Detention Ombudsman was also monitoring the implementation of the MPP and reviewing enrollees’ access to counsel.