Go to Press Releases library
Press Releases

Women’s Refugee Commission Denounces Planned Re-Implementation of Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) Program

Media Contact: Diana Quick, 347-834-1195

Washington, D.C. — Today, following the Mexican government’s decision to accept individuals returned to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Justice (DOJ) announced that they will restart MPP, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program, on or around Monday, December 6.

In resuming the program, the U.S. will expand the population subject to MPP by including nationals of any country in the Western Hemisphere – such as Haitians – other than Mexicans. Individuals previously placed into the program experienced serious harms, including kidnapping, extortion, and assault. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has repeatedly confirmed that MPP has “endemic flaws, imposed unjustifiable human costs, and pulled resources and personnel away from other priority efforts.”

In response to today’s announcement, Katharina Obser, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), stated:

“With the restart of MPP, the Biden administration is exacerbating an unlawful and dangerous approach of chaos, cruelty, and danger at the U.S. border. As a presidential candidate, President Biden promised to end MPP, which he rightly said was ‘dangerous, inhumane, and against everything we stand for.’ Today’s announcement breaks that promise. Taken together with the administration’s other policies, such as the use of Title 42 to expel people seeking asylum, U.S. border policy today is now rooted even further in an approach that creates harm and disorder rather than building a humane and dignified asylum system.

“MPP is a policy that was designed by the Trump administration specifically to deny individuals access to any chance at exercising their lawful right to seek asylum. It is fundamentally incompatible with due process and will subject people seeking safety to danger and to a process that, by the Biden administration’s own admission, carries intolerable human costs and has inherent and unfixable problems. The restart of MPP will make the border more chaotic and less safe, as it was during the Trump administration.

“There is no way to make the inhumane humane. The administration’s attempts at exemptions or other measures deemed to soften the policy are wholly insufficient to mitigate the policy’s harms or the cruelty behind its origins. Indeed, it is shocking that the administration, together with the Mexican government, has chosen to expand the program to include new populations, including Haitian individuals who have long been at heightened risk for discrimination, anti-Black racism, exploitation, and abuse in Mexico. Together with other policies, such as Title 42, that continue to block access to asylum at the U.S. border, MPP has been shown time and again to subject people to kidnapping, rape, assault, and murder.

“The administration must change course from continuing and expanding the harmful policies of its predecessor. It must focus on restoring access to a safe, just, and humane asylum process, one that welcomes with dignity rather than strands those seeking safety in harm. Until then, the Women’s Refugee Commission and our partners will continue to monitor and document this administration’s growing legacy of perpetuating harm and violating the fundamental right to seek asylum.”