Citing Factual and Legal Flaws, Groups Urge DHS to Acknowledge Systematic Barriers in Second Memo Terminating MPP

October 14, 2021

WASHINGTON—In a letter offering factual and legal recommendations on how to end the Migrant Protection Protocols in a second termination memorandum, the American Immigration Council and 29 advocacy organizations, urged the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to fully and forcefully acknowledge the humanitarian and legal catastrophe caused by MPP.

The letter comes as DHS, on September 29, announced that it intended to issue a new memorandum terminating MPP after a Texas district court ruled that DHS’ first attempt to terminate MPP was unlawful and ordered the Biden administration to reinstate the program.  

The letter calls MPP “deeply flawed” and says that the new termination memorandum “should expand on the irrefutable evidence of the dangers faced by asylum seekers in Mexico, as well as systemic barriers to completing proceedings and obtaining protection under MPP that resulted in many in absentia orders.” According to the letter, DHS should “fully document the myriad ways in which the Migrant Protection Protocols provided neither protection nor adequate protocols to migrants.”

The groups are recommending DHS include the following in their second termination memorandum:

  • A recounting of MPP’s failure to protect people from refoulement and harm in Mexico.
  • An explanation as to why MPP led to three times more people missing court than those inside the United States.
  • A clarification that the Trump-era DHS assessment that the district court relied upon to order DHS to reinstate MPP was deeply flawed and speculative and does not prove any “benefits” of MPP.
  • Acknowledgement that COVID-19 continues to be a major concern in resuming MPP, and that DHS must not and cannot send people back to Mexico without any scheduled hearing dates.

“While we commend the Biden administration for its renewed commitment to ending the Migrant Protection Protocols, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas must make clear in his new termination memorandum that MPP was a complete policy failure and led to a human rights catastrophe. This administration must make a forceful break from the cruel and inhumane policies of the Trump administration to avoid a second defeat in court,” said Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy counsel at the American Immigration Council.

The letter is available here.



For more information, contact the American Immigration Council:

Maria Frausto at [email protected] or 202-507-7526.

Media Contact

Elyssa Pachico
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