Contact: Louisa Tavlas
(WASHINGTON, D.C. June 2, 2021) Yesterday, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced the termination of the Migrant Protection Protocols Program (MPP), also known as Remain in Mexico. The Niskanen Center applauds the Biden administration for taking this critical first step in establishing a fair and humane immigration system, especially for vulnerable asylum seekers at our southern border.
“The goal of our immigration policies should not be to deter people from arriving but to safely and fairly process those who arrive to seek safety or new opportunities,” said Kristie De Peña, Niskanen’s vice president of policy and director of immigration.
MPP, which was announced in late 2018 and officially implemented in 2019, forced migrants at the U.S. border to wait in northern Mexican cities to make asylum claims–often for the duration of their immigration proceedings. This policy created informal refugee camps along our southern border and left thousands of children and families at grave risk of violence and persecution. For over two years, MPP has been a black mark on the U.S.’s reputation as a nation of immigrants that endangered over 60,000 migrants.
“While we recognize the importance of rescinding the MPP policy, we hope for further action in the fair and efficient processing of all asylum and other immigration claims for those subjected to MPP,” De Peña said.
“It is essential to acknowledge that the Biden administration effectively replaced MPP by continuing border expulsions under the guise of protecting public health, commonly referred to as Title 42. We hope the administration will also terminate Title 42 expulsions to resume processing asylum seekers at our southern border,” De Peña added.
The Niskanen Center is a 501(c)(3) advocacy organization established in 2014 to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.