AILA provides a series of 12 charts comparing President Biden’s accomplishments 100 days after entering office with the comprehensive recommendations AILA presented to the president.View All
AILALink puts an entire immigration law library at your fingertips! Search the AILALink database for all your practice needs—statutes, regs, case law, agency guidance, publications, and more.
AILA Doc. No. 19091660 | Dated September 30, 2021
September 16, 2021 – The Biden administration has submitted its first compliance report on steps it is taking to re-implement the Migrant Protection Protocols. The Biden administration is currently enjoined from terminating MPP and is required to implement the program “in good faith” pending appeal of a district court’s earlier ruling that it had incorrectly terminated the program.
Two years after the Migrant Protection Protocols first began, new enrollments into this border processing program officially ended on January 20, 2021. Over this period, thousands of individuals arriving at the U.S. southern border seeking protection were forced to remain in Mexico pending their U.S. immigration court hearings.
MPP or "Remain in Mexico" dramatically altered the processing of asylum claims at the U.S. southern border and made it far more difficult for asylum seekers to receive a fair and meaningful review of their claims. In September 2019, DHS opened massive temporary tent facilities in Laredo and Brownsville, Texas, that functioned as virtual immigration courtrooms for vulnerable asylum seekers subject to MPP. AILA covered the numerous due process and access to counsel violations while these “tent courts” operated in Eyes on the Border but Shut out of the Tent Courts. Documents obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation confirm that the true intent of MPP was to discourage migration and how the Trump administration worked to limit access to MPP Tent Courts for attorneys, witnesses, the media and the public.
On March 23, 2020 – in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – DHS and EOIR suspended all MPP hearings. The implementation of the suspension was chaotic and confusing, leading some people to travel to ports of entry only to be turned away and others to miss the opportunity to get their notices of rescheduled hearings.
Next, on February 11, 2021, DHS announced the beginning of the process to unwind MPP. In this initial phase, individuals in Mexico with active cases were permitted register online or by phone with the UNHCR and paroled into the U.S. at a port of entry. AILA called on DHS to expand processing to additional people who were subjected to MPP given the significant due process and fairness concerns surrounding the whole program.
Finally, on June 23, 2021, DHS expanded eligibility for processing into the U.S. to people in Mexico with in absentia orders of removal or whose cases were terminated. Notably, former MPP individuals who fled to safety in the U.S. and those who were forced to return to their home countries are permitted to register. However, DHS has not indicated how they will proceed with these categories of people and cases. Unfortunately, the June expansion does not protect people who were ordered removed following a final hearing in the tent MPP “courts.”
Prior to a district court injunction that paused the program’s termination, several thousand individuals who had been forced to remain in Mexico under the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP) have been screened for COVID-19, processed, and their cases transferred to U.S. immigration courts.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 19091660.
American Immigration Lawyers Association
1331 G Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005
Copyright © 1993-2021
American Immigration Lawyers Association.
AILA.org should not be relied upon as the exclusive source for your legal research. Nothing on AILA.org constitutes legal advice, and information on AILA.org is not a substitute for independent legal advice based on a thorough review and analysis of the facts of each individual case, and independent research based on statutory and regulatory authorities, case law, policy guidance, and for procedural issues, federal government websites.