SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — While migrant advocates and attorneys are applauding the cancellation of the Migrant Protection Protocol program, they say it’s not enough to help asylum-seekers.
MPP, also known as “Remain in Mexico,” was created by the Trump administration to force asylum-seekers to remain south of the border while they waited for their cases to be heard.
“MPP was devastating for thousands and thousands of people,” said Hollie Webb, lead attorney with the Border Rights Project Al Otro Lado. “There are people who were kidnapped and missed a court date and their case was closed. These people have been forced to remain in some of the most dangerous parts of Mexico to wait out their cases.”
Webb says she is glad MPP is now history, but she would like to see more done.
“In reality, on the ground, it doesn’t mean a lot. Not a lot has changed,” she said.
Webb and others also want to see the elimination of Title 42, which was implemented to force the expulsion of undocumented migrants from the U.S. immediately after being apprehended. The Trump administration argued this was necessary as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Normally, people can come to a port of entry and present themselves to CBP in normal times … not currently. They can say, ‘I’m afraid to return to my home country I want to seek asylum.’ They have the legal right to do so under U.S. law and under international law,” Webb said.
According to a new report by the nonprofit Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) of Syracuse University, as of the end of April, a total of 8,347 migrants who previously had been forced to remain in Mexico under MPP, were allowed to cross the Southwest border from Mexico since the end of January,
This same group reports that a total of 18,087 individuals still remain in Mexico and have not yet been allowed to enter the U.S.
“When you have thousands and thousands of people who have been waiting, at times for years, to be able to pursue their cases, it’s incredibly difficult for them,” said Webb.