You may have heard of the Trump administration’s latest attack on migrants called MPP (“Migrant Protection Protocols”), but you might not know what it is. 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.
Above all, we believe the people being harmed by this policy can explain it best so in the coming days we’ll be introducing you to some of the those caught up in this with a series of videos.
People like Natasha, a trans Honduran woman RAICES recently met in a makeshift refugee camp where she is stranded and scared in Matamoros at the border in Mexico. Natasha was targeted for being trans in Honduras, and she still has that same target on her back in Matamoros just because if her identity.
SO WHAT IS MPP?
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. 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. This process can last months or even years.
And they’re not just dumped anywhere in Mexico, they are intentionally put in some of the most dangerous places in the world. Don’t just take it from us. Ask Maria. A pregnant mother-of-two was dropped on the streets of Matamoros despite telling U.S. border agents that she had been kidnapped on her treacherous journey through Mexico.
THE U.S. IS SENDING MIGRANTS TO REMAIN IN MEXICAN CITIES THAT ARE CONTROLLED BY ORGANIZED CRIME.
MPP is dumping people in cities along the border like Matamoros, Ciudad Juarez, 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.
EVEN FOR THOSE LUCKY ENOUGH TO AVOID ORGANIZED CRIME, THEY HAVE NO ONE TO TURN TO FOR VITAL SERVICES.
The Mexican government is not taking care of these people, even though the U.S. government says it is. 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 55,000 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 lack of services is endangering families like Edwin and Milagros, who have been living on the streets for months.
SO WHAT’S THE THINKING BEHIND SUCH CRUELTY?
It’s exactly what you’d think: the Trump’s administration wants to deter people from coming. The way they look at it, if word spreads among potential asylum-seekers that they’ll be put in another dangerous situation where their families are at risk, then maybe they’ll think twice before coming. What the Trump administration fails to realize is that most people in this situation have no choice. When staying in your country is a death sentence, all you can do is run and hope you’ll find a place to be safe.
Asylum Law was created to give people who are being targeted and persecuted in their home countries for their identity or beliefs the chance to seek safety and a future for their families. MPP is a way to punish these refugees and make sure that asylum is not an option for the most vulnerable people in the world.
This is not how it’s supposed to go. U.S immigration laws 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 goes against all this and pushes people right into a nightmare scenario
ROSY fled for her life after two of her sons were murdered in El Salvador. Rosy’s desperate to get her two other sons to safety but doesn’t understand the asylum application documents they were given by U.S border officials when they were returned to Mexico because she doesn’t speak English.
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 to End the Agreement