Recission of MPP Is a Step Toward Ending a Humanitarian Catastrophe and Restoring Dignity to the Asylum Process

October 29, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Biden administration announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will issue a new memo to formally terminate the Migrant Protection Protocols—a Trump-era policy also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program—that sent thousands of people seeking humanitarian protection to dangerous areas of Mexico to await their hearings.

The new memo comes nearly three months after a Texas district court ordered the Biden administration to “reinstate MPP in good faith,” and less than 15 days after DHS announced plans to revive and reimplement MPP by mid-November. In the new memo, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas acknowledges that “no amount of resources” can fix the problems inherent in MPP, and says that violence against migrants, as well as “difficulties in accessing counsel and traveling to courts separated by an international border, are endemic to the program’s design.”

The following statement is from Jorge Loweree, policy director at the American Immigration Council:

“The Biden administration’s long-awaited second termination memorandum is an important step towards ensuring that the MPP program never returns. The program was a humanitarian catastrophe that stripped migrants of due process and offered them no real protections.

“Today’s new memo acknowledges that MPP led to ‘extreme violence and insecurity’ for migrants, and that it suffered from ‘inherent problems’ that ‘no amount of resources can sufficiently fix.’ The Biden administration should immediately transmit these findings to the government of Mexico, which has demanded improvements before it will allow MPP to resume. But as this memorandum acknowledges, there is no way to make an inhumane program humane.

“Rather than turning away people fleeing harm, we should ensure people have a fair day in court. We can face the challenges of our immigration system by embracing our humanitarian and legal obligations and reinforcing our system with robust due process.”

The American Immigration Council has a range of research and other resources on the Migrant Protection Protocols, including experts available to speak on the fatal flaws in the lower court decisions and factual and legal recommendations on how to end the Migrant Protection Protocols in a second termination memorandum.



For more information, contact: 

Maria Frausto at the American Immigration Council, [email protected] or 202-507-7526.

Media Contact

Elyssa Pachico
[email protected]

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