What the 'Remain in Mexico' Policy Means for Asylum-Seeking Children and Families

On August 24, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), more commonly known as the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy. This policy has caused a humanitarian crisis on the Mexican side of the border.

"(The decision) will undoubtedly result in asylum-seeking children and families being subject to more unnecessary violence and danger," said Save the Children President and CEO Janti Soeripto. "Seeking asylum is not a crime – as a country, we must do better."

Save the Children – together with its political advocacy arm, Save the Children Action Network – will continue to mobilize on behalf of asylum-seeking children and families to ensure the Migrant Protection Protocols policy is not reinstated, and that they are treated legally and humanely, with dignity and respect.

Learn more about the 'Remain in Mexico' policy and what it means for asylum-seeking children and families 

What is the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy?

The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), often referred to as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, is a U.S. Government policy enacted in January of 2019 that forced individuals and families, seeking admission to the U.S. from Mexico, to be returned to Mexico and wait outside of the U.S. for the duration of their immigration proceedings. Families and individuals were forced to wait in dangerous Mexican cities for months or even years at a time.

The policy saw more than 70,000 people forcibly returned to Mexico, including 13,000 children.

What is Title 42 and how does it differ from the Migrant Protection Protocols?

Enacted in March of 2020, Title 42 closes the U.S. border to all asylum-seekers on the grounds of protecting public health. Migrant Protection Protocols force people to wait for their immigration proceedings in Mexico. Title 42 superseded Migrant Protection Protocols by not allowing individuals and families to even make an asylum claim in the U.S.

Why is Migrant Protection Protocols harmful to asylum-seekers?

Migrant Protection Protocols is a policy proven to be extremely detrimental to asylum-seeking families and children forced to wait in Mexico, putting them at risk of violence, limiting their access to due process protections and gravely violating their human rights.

This policy has caused a humanitarian crisis on the Mexican side of the border. Individuals and families returned to Mexico are often victims of kidnappings and violence by cartels and gangs who prey on these vulnerable groups. There have been multiple reports outlining the various cases of violence that these vulnerable migrants and asylum seekers face in Mexico. The human cost of this policy is unimaginable.  

How many people have been impacted by Migrant Protection Protocols?

Migrant Protection Protocols had sent 70,000 asylum seekers back to danger during the previous administration, including 13,000 children. Reinstatement of the policy could affect thousands more. 

What does the Supreme Court decision to reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols mean for asylum-seeking children and families?

The Supreme Court decision to uphold the reinstatement of  Migrant Protection Protocols will undoubtedly result in asylum-seeking children and families being subject to more unnecessary violence and danger.

The reinstatement of Migrant Protection Protocols is a worrisome step backward in our fight for a more humane and just asylum system and dangerously legitimizes anti-migrant sentiments. Children and families escaping violence, persecution and extreme poverty deserve to be protected, and treated with dignity, respect and compassion.

How has Save the Children advocated against Migrant Protection Protocols?

Save the Children has advocated against this harmful policy since it was enacted in 2019, and worked closely with the Biden administration to ensure it was rescinded.

Save the Children – together with its political advocacy arm, Save the Children Action Network – will continue to mobilize on behalf of asylum-seeking children and families to ensure  Migrant Protection Protocols is not reinstated, and that they are treated legally and humanely, with dignity and respect.

What will Save the Children do going forward to advocate against Migrant Protection Protocols?

We call upon the Biden administration to act swiftly to find a solution that serves the best interests of asylum-seeking children and families. This nation must reclaim its moral standing and prevent children from becoming exposed to more violence and abuse.

How can I help children and families impacted by the U.S. Border Crisis?

As Save the Children is helping meet the urgent needs of children and families, your donation to the U.S. Border Crisis Children's Relief fund can support our work at the U.S.-Mexico Border. 

How is Save the Children working in Mexico to help asylum-seeking children and families impacted by Migrant Protection Protocols?

Save the Children US is in constant partnership with Save the Children Mexico to provide services for families impacted by Migrant Protection Protocols. From providing assistance at various shelters in Mexico to working together on joint advocacy efforts, we will continue to work hand-in-hand in order to protect vulnerable children and families.  

 

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