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The Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS) remain committed to proceeding with Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) hearings as expeditiously as possible. The Departments have been in ongoing discussions about the timing for the resumption of hearings in light of the continuing emergency health conditions in the United States, in Mexico, and in the international community, as many countries continue to be significantly impacted by COVID-19. As a result of this ongoing review of conditions, and in conjunction with continued implementation of health officials’ COVID-19 guidance, DHS and DOJ are postponing both MPP hearings and in-person document service through, and including, July 17, 2020. This will alleviate the need for travel within Mexico to a U.S. port of entry while pandemic conditions in Mexico remain severe.
We anticipate the resumption of hearings on July 20, 2020, so long as public health and safety indicators support hearing reinstatement at that time. The Departments are actively planning to ensure compliance with CDC social distancing guidelines and partnering to secure the equipment and resources necessary to support the resumption of MPP hearings when that time comes. The Departments will reevaluate the timing for resumption of MPP hearings on a weekly basis, evaluating factors that include:
- White House gating criteria articulated in the “Guidelines for Opening Up America Again”;
- State-by-state assessment of COVID-19 levels in Mexico;
- Centers for Disease Control and State Department travel advisories/recommendations; and
- COVID-19 exposure risks to migrants traveling throughout Mexico, to agents and officers at the border and at ports of entry, and to court officers, and other court personnel.
When conditions are deemed safe, the Departments will provide notice fifteen (15) days prior to resumption with additional, location-specific information. Individuals should continue to check on case status in English and Spanish by calling the Automated Case Information Hotline at 1-800-898-7180 or visiting the EOIR Automated Case Information portal.