You may have heard of the Trump administration’s latest attack on migrants called MPP (“Migrant Protection Protocols”), but you might not know much about it. MPP is a cruel and confusing policy. It’s designed that way. Here’s everything you need to know about it, why it matters, and what you can do to stop it.
The idea is simple. MPP stands for “Migrant Protection Protocols”. It’s also known as “Remain in Mexico”. This absurdly titled policy is the Trump administration’s latest attempt to stop refugees from coming to the U.S. to seek asylum.
In the past, asylum seekers who reached the U.S. to ask for safety were processed, detained, and then usually released into the U.S. while their case made its way through the courts. During this time, many people go to live with family who can support and take care of them.
But now, under MPP, when someone presents themselves to U.S. officials at the border, or crosses illegally and hands themselves in to ask for asylum in the U.S., they are dumped back in Mexico to wait. They’re given a stack of papers (mostly in English, even for asylum seekers who don’t speak English) and told to come back to the U.S. on their court dates. They are not given any resources – no real access to dignified accommodation, medical care, education, food, sanitation, or legal support. Meanwhile, this whole asylum process can last months or even years.
And people aren’t just dumped anywhere in Mexico. They are intentionally put in some of the most dangerous places in the world, in cities along the border like Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo. These cities are largely controlled by organized crime and cartels, which specifically targets migrants. These are places with the highest level of travel warnings for U.S. citizens – often the same warnings issued for Syria – because rates of rape, murder, kidnapping, sexual violence, and extortion are off the charts. The bottom line: MPP makes people sitting ducks for the cartels.
The Mexican government is not taking care of these people, even though the U.S. government says it is. Non-profit shelters in Mexico are overwhelmed meaning many people under MPP are virtually homeless in Mexico and have no real access to healthcare, education, or vital legal aid. With everything stacked against them, it’s no surprise that so far, only 0.1% of asylum seekers have won their cases under this policy.
This would be unthinkable if it were happening even to a few people. But so far, the Trump administration has sent more than 60,000 people back to Mexico under MPP. This includes more than 16,000 kids under 18, more than 4,000 toddlers (under 5), and 500 babies (under 12 months).
This is not how it’s supposed to go. U.S. immigration laws and international agreements enshrine the right to seek asylum. It’s fundamental to who we are. The law makes it clear that asylum seekers who present themselves at official U.S. ports of entry must be allowed in to request asylum. The UN Refugee Convention also makes it clear that you cannot return someone who has a credible fear of being persecuted into a place where they are in danger. MPP pushes people right into a nightmare scenario. MPP is illegal and cruel.
LET’S STOP MPP
Last year, they separated families.
And we responded.
Now we face a new threat: a total and merciless assault on anyone who comes to us seeking refuge and safety.
We must respond once again.
MPP is being done in your name, so help us do something to stop it!
You can share these stories, get people outraged about this, and follow what’s happening with MPP.
Sign our petition to Support Asylum Seekers: Demand that Congress De-funds MPP & AMLO Ends the Agreement