The reinstatement of the “Remain in Mexico” policy is a devastating blow to thousands of people seeking asylum in the US, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today. “Remain in Mexico”, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), is a program that endangers the lives of asylum seekers by forcing them to remain in Mexico while waiting for their claims to be heard. The policy is expected to be reinstated on or around December 6, according to a US Department of Homeland Security statement released today. A federal court ordered the Biden Administration to reinstate MPP shortly after it was fully rescinded in June.
MSF, which has provided medical care and mental health services to people on the move in Mexico for years, has documented the risks asylum seekers enrolled in MPP have faced in Mexico, their systematic exposure to violence and trauma, and their lack of access to shelter and basic services.
Avril Benoît, executive director of MSF-USA, gave the following statement in response to today’s announcement:
MPP is inhumane. It is among the most harmful immigration policies imposed by the US in recent years, punishing those fleeing violence and persecution and denying protection to vulnerable people. We are witnessing yet another blow to the battered US asylum system.