The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Wednesday that it is expanding Migrant Protection Protocols to Brazilian nationals seeking asylum at the U.S./Mexico border.
The policy, colloquially referred to as the remain in Mexico initiative, requires migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. to await their court dates on the Mexican side of the border, where there is no housing infrastructure and they can’t work legally. The announcement comes almost exactly a year after DHS first enacted MPP in January 2019.
According to DHS, the number of Brazilian migrants reaching the border has nearly tripled in the last year.
The United States continues to work with its partners in the region, as well as other countries, to stem the flow of irregular migration to the United States, DHS said in a statement. MPP is one of many tools the Department has implemented to ensure those with meritorious asylum claims are timely adjudicated, while fraudulent claims are property identified.
Before MPP, those seeking asylum were held in detention centers until they were eventually released within the U.S. to await their court date, which is often months or even years later.
In Mexico, asylum-seekers wait in tents set up by the port of entry until their court date. Volunteers and often politicians provide meals and toiletries for them. The situation leaves them vulnerable to cartel violence, particularly for those who dont speak Spanish, such as Indigenous migrants, and now, Brazilians.
“#RemainInMexico is a dangerous & sometimes deadly policy,” the Congressional Hispanic Caucus tweeted Wednesday. “Expanding this program to Brazilian asylum-seekers will be devastating, as these families do not speak Spanish & will be even more vulnerable in Mexico. #DontLookAway from the suffering inflicted by Trump at our border.”
#RemainInMexico is a dangerous & sometimes deadly policy. Expanding this program to Brazilian asylum-seekers will be devastating, as these families do not speak Spanish & will be even more vulnerable in Mexico. #DontLookAway from the suffering inflicted by Trump at our border. https://t.co/mfG0T9i0SW
Hispanic Caucus (@HispanicCaucus) January 29, 2020