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Information and Reminders for Individuals in MPP

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This page provides important information, reminders, and resources for individuals enrolled in the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Individuals enrolled in MPP should raise all questions with their legal counsel or representatives. 

What do I do with the U.S. Government documents I received?

You should retain all documents you receive from U.S. officials. These documents contain important case information.

What is an A-Number?

The “A-Number” is a nine-digit number that begins with the letter “A” and is found in the upper right-hand corner of the Notice to Appear (NTA). This is how the U.S. Government tracks your case. You should have this number available when interacting with U.S. officials or consulting the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) portal to check the status of your case, online at EOIR’s Automated Case Information Portal or at 1-800-898-7180 (toll-free).

What documentation and information will I receive from the U.S. Government?

An official from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will provide you a legal resource packet and explain the MPP process in a language that you understand (using interpreters as needed).

As part of that packet, CBP will provide you with the following documents: 

  1. A completed Notice to Appear (NTA) indicating the date and time of your first court hearing before an immigration judge; 
  2. Information in English, Spanish, Portuguese or Creole indicating when to appear at the indicated port of entry (POE); 
  3. An EOIR-33 Change of Address Form so you can inform the court any time you move residences. You can also change your address online through EOIR’s website.  CBP will also instruct you on how to access current case status information by phone or online.

What if I do not speak English? Will an interpreter be provided?

Yes. If you cannot understand and speak the English language, the U.S. Government will provide an interpreter. Interpreters will be available during your initial encounter and processing, any U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) non-refoulement interviews, and court hearings.

What if I am afraid to be in Mexico?

You should tell a U.S. Government official if you are afraid to return to Mexico.  You can do this at any time you are in the United States, including during processing or your court hearings. You will then be referred to USCIS for a non-refoulment interview, where you can explain to an asylum officer the reasons you are afraid to be in Mexico. 

If, during your non-refoulement interview, you can demonstrate to the asylum officer a reasonable possibility that, if returned to Mexico, you will be subject to persecution on account of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, or due to torture, the U.S. Government will not return you to Mexico.  In such a situation, the U.S. Government will allow you (and everyone else in your family unit) to remain in the United States for the rest of your removal proceedings.

What rights do I have while in removal proceedings?

While only a lawyer or an Accredited Representative can advise you about your specific legal rights and the options available to you, the following links provide important information and videos regarding your rights during removal proceedings. They are referred to as “Know Your Rights” information. You should review this material to better understand your rights and the immigration process.  

How do I find out the status of my case?

If you have your A-number, you can access case status information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online at EOIR’s Automated Case Information Portal or at 1-800-898-7180 (toll-free).

Do I need to tell anyone if I move my residence and address?

Yes. It is very important that you provide your most recent address to the court. This is critical to ensuring that you receive notifications about updates to your upcoming court hearings. Every time you move residences, you must update your address by submitting an EOIR-33 Change of Address Form (by mail or in person) to the court location where your case is currently scheduled. Your address can also be changed online through EOIR’s website. 

What if I have questions about the immigration court process?

If you have questions about the immigration court process, please contact the Immigration Court Helpdesk at any of the following locations:

Location Immigration Court Helpdesk Contact

Miami, Florida

561-510-6865 (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET)

New York, New York

315-690-4831 (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET)

San Antonio, Texas

210-864-2917 (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. CT)

Chicago, Illinois

312-660-1328 (Monday - Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. CT)

Los Angeles, California

323-905-0404 (Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. PT)

The Immigration Court Helpdesk services are also available to non-English speakers. Please inform the Helpdesk of your native language and dialect.

Although you should start with the Helpdesk nearest you, you may also contact any of the other Helpdesks.

For printable and shareable versions of this information, please see the flyer in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Where can I find a lawyer or legal representative?

You may be represented by the attorney of your choice and are not required to pick a legal service provider from these lists. You are also not required to be represented by a lawyer at all, if you do not wish to be.

Can I have my attorney present during my non-refoulement interview with USCIS?

Yes, your legal representative may participate by telephone at your non-refoulement interview before a USCIS asylum officer. 

The U.S. Government will not provide you with a legal representative, but you will receive a legal resource packet.

You will have 24 hours before your interview to find and speak with a legal representative on the telephone if you would like.  

Can I have my attorney present during my court hearing?

Yes, your attorney may be present at your court hearing, either by telephone, by video (where available), or in person.

To prepare for your hearings, you and your attorney or accredited representative can also speak virtually whenever it works for the both of you. Migrant shelters in Mexico will provide computers/tablets that can be used for this communication. You will also have a time to meet in person with your attorney on the morning of your court hearing.

You are not required to be represented by a lawyer in your immigration proceedings.  If you cannot or do not want to arrange for an attorney, you can still access legal information about MPP by attending the legal orientation program provided before your court hearings.

How can I access legal information if I do not have a lawyer?

Individuals who are not represented by counsel or who need additional resources can access self-help resources on EOIR's Self-Help Materials website, including information on the topics listed below:

  • Accessing an Attorney
  • Appeal
  • Asylum
  • Bond
  • Change of Address and Change of Venue
  • EOIR Self- Help Legal Centers
  • Fraud
  • Missed Hearings
  • Notice to Appear
  • Self-Help Guides to Immigration Removal, Proceedings and Common Forms of Relief
  • T-Visa
  • U-Visa
  • Voluntary Departure

In addition to the resources on this website, the required Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) forms are available in immigration court and on the EOIR website.  Several migrant shelters in Northern Mexican cities make the EOIR forms and other Know Your Rights information available. 

How long will MPP court hearings take?

The length of court hearings vary based on the circumstances of each case and are consistent with due process requirements. You should plan to spend an entire day being processed for and attending court. If processes are not concluded that same day, you may have to spend the night in CBP custody. In that case, the U.S. Government will return you to Mexico as soon as all processes are concluded. 

You should generally expect to have a minimum of two court hearings on different days.  However, it is common to have more court hearings depending on the specific circumstances of each case. 

Immigration courts hear multiple cases each day. There will be other individuals who have court hearings on the same day as you. You will be processed at the port of entry (POE) with others that have court cases on the same day. Individuals will have access to food and water during the time they attend court and are in U.S. Government custody.

What services are provided in Mexico?

You will be provided an entry form by the Government of Mexico (GOM). This form allows you to be in Mexico legally, obtain a tax identification number, and seek access services in Mexico.  

Do I need to live near the border to be ready to return for court?

No. The documents provided to you by the U.S. Government indicate the next time and date of your hearing location, in addition to the location and time you need to arrive at a specified port of entry to access the court hearing. It is very important to safeguard these documents, so you know when to return to the port of entry. 

You can live wherever you choose in Mexico pending these hearings. Transportation may be available from designated locations to and from the POE to enter the United States for court hearings. 

Where should I live in Mexico while I wait for my court date?

That decision is up to you, as the U.S. Government does not require that you live in a certain place. If you are able, you may rent a house or an apartment. There are also shelters run by both GOM and non-governmental organizations. Transportation may be available from designated locations to and from the POE to enter the United States for court hearings. 

If you cannot afford to pay for your own accommodations, you should seek help from one of these shelters rather than putting yourself in a dangerous situation by living on the street or in an informal encampment. 

Do I have to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to return to the United States for court?

Yes. DHS will provide age-appropriate COVID-19 vaccines, free of charge, to every individual enrolled in MPP age 5 and older. You will need to demonstrate proof of COVID-19 vaccination to return to the United States.

Do I have to be tested for COVID-19 to return to the United States for court?

Yes, every individual enrolled in MPP must demonstrate that they were tested for COVID-19 within three days before their court hearings and produce a negative test result. If the test result is positive, we will move your hearing to a later date, but that will not negatively affect your proceedings. You will be asked to isolate for 10 days in Mexico.

I was placed into MPP a long time ago and I registered with UNHCR in 2021, but I have still not been processed into the United States. What do I do?

It depends on the status of your case. If you still have active removal proceedings before the court, you should update EOIR with your current address so that you receive notifications from the court about your next hearing. 

If your removal proceedings have concluded, either resulting in a removal order or a termination, you are not eligible to enter the United States under this effort.

Complaints and Requests for Review

If you believe you clearly should not have been enrolled in MPP because you have a particular vulnerability (such as a known physical or mental health issue, including a disability or medical condition; advanced age; or increased risk of harm in Mexico due to sexual orientation or gender identity), please email MPPRequest@hq.dhs.gov.
 
If your circumstances have changed significantly since you were first placed in MPP and you believe you should now be taken out of MPP, you may also email MPPRequest@hq.dhs.gov with this information. Please note that the review of your request is at DHS’s discretion, and the case request process does not create any obligations or private right of action enforceable against the government in judicial or administrative proceedings.
 
Your email should include specific and detailed information about why you believe your enrollment into MPP is clearly incorrect or how your circumstances have changed since your initial placement in MPP. In addition, please attach any available documents that help support your request.
 
You can provide information in your primary language but we encourage you to submit English translations if available.  Your request may take longer to process if documentation is provided in a language other than English.

Last Published Date: December 20, 2021

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