DHS Response to Internal ‘Remain in Mexico’ Inquiry Woefully Deficient

Asylum-seekers forced to return to Mexico face severe dangers and huge barriers to access their rights

WASHINGTON— The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s official response to its internal review of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), reported by CNN on Friday, fell far short of addressing the policy’s many due process, legal and humanitarian flaws, Human Rights First warned.

“The DHS memo purporting to list activities to make MPP more ‘effective and efficient’ is woefully deficient. MPP is a humanitarian, legal and due-process disaster. It’s so fundamentally flawed that it can’t be fixed,” said Eleanor Acer, director of refugee protection for Human Rights First. “The activities DHS identifies are akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Despite widespread reports of asylum seekers suffering from kidnappings, torture and attacks after being returned to Mexico, the Trump administration continues to implement and expand this horrific program. While MPP creates a barrage of nearly insurmountable logistical, security and legal barriers to representation, DHS gives little more than lip service to facilitating access to counsel.”

Last week, Human Rights First issued a short report summarizing the fatal flaws of the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico (or MPP) policy, one year after it was launched. As detailed in that report, Human Rights First has tracked over 816 cases of asylum seekers who suffered kidnappings, sexual assault, torture and other attacks after being subjected to MPP – including over 201 kidnappings or attempting kidnappings of children. The organization had researchers and court monitors at the Brownsville and Laredo, Texas tent courts last week and a delegation of veterans in Brownsville and Matamoros, Mexico.

If you are interested in learning more about Human Rights First’s prior reports on MPP, its efforts to track violence against migrants in the year since MPP was implemented, and the collaborative efforts of other organizations to document the dangers of MPP, please visit deliveredtodanger.org.


Published on January 27, 2020


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