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WRC Statement on Termination of Migrant Protection Protocols

Washington, D.C. — Following an August decision by a Texas U.S. district court ordering the reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today issued a new memorandum terminating the program. The issuance of the memo does not mean that the injunction is lifted, and the U.S. government is still taking steps to restart MPP, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program.

MPP is a Trump-era policy that has resulted in more than 70,000 individuals seeking protection at the U.S. border having to instead wait for their U.S. immigration court hearings in Mexico, and subsequently subjected to horrific conditions and violent attacks.

In response to today’s announcement, Ursela Ojeda, senior policy advisor of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, issued the following statement:

“Today’s termination memo is a welcome and overdue step by the Biden administration to ultimately end MPP once and for all. There is no way to make MPP or any MPP-like program lawful, safe, or humane. The new memo rightfully states that ‘no amount of resources can sufficiently fix’ the inherent problems of MPP. As Secretary Mayorkas acknowledges, the human costs — including deaths, kidnappings, and assaults — of this cruel program are intolerable. The Women’s Refugee Commission hopes the administration’s actions on terminating MPP will finally match its words.

“The Biden administration should immediately take all necessary and legal steps to ensure that the court’s injunction ordering re-implementation of MPP is lifted. We further urge that other unlawful and xenophobic policies that expel people back to harm and violate our obligations under U.S. and international law — such as Title 42 — are once and for all rescinded. Access to asylum, including at ports of entry, must finally be restored. The Biden administration must make good on its promises and create an orderly and humane asylum system that fundamentally welcomes with dignity.”


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