WASHINGTON - As of Oct. 28, the Department of Homeland Security has begun processing migrants for return to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry, in Eagle Pass, Texas. This brings the total number of ports of entry where MPP returns will be made to six. Migrants who attempt to enter the U.S. via the southwest border regardless of location may be returned to Mexico to await their immigration court proceedings. The expansion to Eagle Pass reflects the continued effectiveness and importance of MPP across the southern border.
First implemented in January 2019 in accordance with a law passed by Congress in 1996, the program allows certain aliens to remain in Mexico while awaiting court proceedings in the United States. MPP has been a crucial element of DHS’s success in addressing the ongoing crisis, securing the border, and ending catch and release. Since the peak of the crisis in May 2019, the number of aliens encountered at and between the ports of entry has decreased by 64% overall – and approximately 80% for Central American families.
“The President is using every tool available to address the humanitarian crisis at the border to include domestic policy changes and fostering collaboration with our neighbors in the region. The Migrant Protection Protocols has been a key component to the success we have had addressing the crisis,” said Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan. “We are confident in the program’s integrity and ability to adjudicate asylum claims quickly and with all due process. We have already seen individuals granted asylum, and many more fraudulent or non-meritorious cases closed. MPP has been – and remains – an essential part of these efforts. I am grateful to the government of Mexico for their partnership, including accepting MPP returns at Eagle Pass.”
MPP, which is part of DHS’s broader strategy to address the root causes of the current crisis, has been implemented and expanded in close cooperation with the Government of Mexico at San Diego, Calexico, El Paso, Laredo, and Brownsville and surrounding sectors.
Beginning returns at Eagle Pass is consistent with the U.S.-Mexico Declaration of June 7 to further expand MPP. The Government of Mexico has indicated operational capability to accept returns at Eagle Pass. Aliens returned there will receive notices to appear at the temporary hearing facility in Laredo, Texas, for hearings two to four months in the future.
MPP remains a cornerstone of DHS’ efforts to restore integrity to the U.S. immigration system and relieve the crushing backlog of pending cases. Our nation is more secure because of the program, and migrants with meritorious asylum claims can receive protection in months, rather than waiting in limbos for years.
DHS continues to invest in this critical program despite the potential of adverse court action. Disruption of MPP would negatively impact U.S. foreign relations, risk sparking a renewed humanitarian and security crisis at the border, and most benefit those who seek to profit from human misery.
A detailed assessment of MPP is available by following this link.