In a temporary defeat for immigration advocates, the Supreme Court recently ruled that Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) will remain in place while justices review a lower court’s appeal claiming the policy is illegal. Also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, the rule requires non-Mexican asylum seekers to return to Mexico while awaiting immigration hearings in the United States. Remain in Mexico policy opponents say asylum seekers waiting in Mexican detention camps are at risk of assault, disease, and the lack of essentials, such as food and water.
Understanding Asylum Protection
Asylum status is a form of protection afforded to individuals who suffer or fear persecution in their home country because of their:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
There is no cost to apply for asylum. The asylum process begins with the completion of Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. For more information, it is best to contact a trusted immigration lawyer who is experienced with immigration law to learn how the Remain in Mexico policy may impact your asylum application.
Migrant Protection Protocols
Launched in January 2019, the Remain in Mexico policy was enacted to stem the flow of undocumented men, women, and children attempting to cross the border for entry into the United States. Under MPP, asylum seekers are returned to makeshift Mexican camps. During this time, seekers will wait for weeks, sometimes months, for hearings. Prior to the order, these individuals would be detained indefinitely while asylum or removal hearings were processed. Others were released on parole and often left unaccounted for.
The American Civil Liberties Union and lawyers representing asylum seekers say that clients who return to Mexico are in grave danger of limited resources and violent assaults. Others describe a corrupt law enforcement system, which fails to protect them and further stifles access to the immigration system in the United States.
Pushback Against the Policy
On March 4, 2019, the Ninth United States Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that MPP violated federal law and called for it to end in California and Arizona unless the Supreme Court intervened, which ultimately happened. This allowed for the Remain in Mexico policy to continue. While the government builds their appeal, individuals seeking protection from discrimination and violence in their homelands may be returned to Mexico to await the immigration process.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Represent Clients Seeking Asylum
Asylum is an essential form of humanitarian protection offered to our most vulnerable members of the global community, but the Remain in Mexico policy further endangers those seeking protection. Our Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. will work tirelessly to resolve your immigration matter to ensure a positive outcome. To schedule an initial consultation, call us at 215-925-4435 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and nationwide.