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DHS Issues A New Memo to Terminate MPP

Release Date: 
October 29, 2021

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today issued a new memorandum announcing and explaining his decision to terminate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program.

“This Administration is tackling longstanding problems that have plagued our immigration system for decades in order to achieve needed systemic change.  MPP does not help meet this goal,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “MPP had endemic flaws, imposed unjustifiable human costs, pulled resources and personnel away from other priority efforts, and did not address the root causes of irregular migration. MPP not only undercuts the Administration’s ability to implement critically needed and foundational changes to the immigration system, it fails to provide the fair process and humanitarian protections that individuals deserve under the law.”

Secretary Mayorkas conducted an extensive review to assess whether MPP should be maintained, terminated, or modified. He studied court documents, relevant data, internal reviews, and publicly available materials, and met with a broad and diverse array of internal and external stakeholders, including DHS personnel as well as state and local officials and community leaders across the country. Secretary Mayorkas concluded that the benefits do not justify the costs, particularly given the way in which MPP detracts from other regional and domestic goals and policy initiatives that better align with this Administration’s values. MPP distracts from efforts to achieve regional solutions that address the root causes driving migrants to leave their countries and that tackle this challenge before vulnerable individuals have taken the perilous journey to our border.

“We must invest in durable policies that disincentivize irregular migration while promoting safe, orderly, and humane pathways,” continued Mayorkas. “In addition to developing enduring, regional solutions with partner nations, we must address problems that have plagued our asylum system for years.” 

The Administration, for example, has designed the Dedicated Docket that enables immigration judges to adjudicate cases within 300 days, and is promulgating a forthcoming Asylum Officer Rule, which will transfer the initial responsibility for adjudicating asylum claims from immigration judges to USCIS asylum officers to produce timely and fair decision-making. These reforms are expected to yield transformative and lasting changes to the asylum system. Once fully implemented, these policies will address migratory flows more effectively than MPP, while holding true to our nation’s values.

The Administration remains under a court order requiring it to reimplement MPP in good faith, which it will abide by even as it continues to vigorously contest the ruling. As part of these efforts, DHS is engaged in ongoing and high-level discussions with Mexican government and has issued contracts to build temporary court facilities in Texas. MPP cannot be reimplemented, however, unless and until the Government of Mexico makes an independent decision to accept returns under the program.

The termination of MPP will not take effect until the current injunction is lifted.

The Department remains committed to building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system that upholds our laws and values. The Department also continues to process individuals in accordance with U.S. law and our mission.

Last Published Date: October 29, 2021
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