HRF comments on the "Remain in Mexico" policy

Trump’s policies affect the political asylum process

Dozens of immigrants arrive daily at the US’ borders with the intention of requesting international protection through political asylum. To be eligible for this humanitarian program, they must submit an application and present evidence, demonstrating that they have been or could be victims of persecution, violence or abuse due to their race, religion, political opinion, sexual orientation, inter alia.

The US’ immigration system has not always been stable and has always been quite a controversial issue among the local population. However, the controversy escalated when President Donald Trump took office four years ago. This is mainly because his stance is strict, also classified as “arbitrary and capricious”, when it comes to immigration and his government has worked tirelessly to reduce immigration at all costs.

One of the processes most affected by Trump’s policies and restrictions is political asylum. Broadly speaking, the Trump administration states that asylum seekers are not always honest and use “fake stories” in order to enter the US, work and take advantage of multiple social benefits.

Therefore, the Trump administration has tried to reduce the number of asylum seekers residing in the US before receiving responses to their immigration applications. To meet this goal, President Trump signed an agreement with Mexico called the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) or “Remain in Mexico.”

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What is the MPP?

Broadly speaking, the MPP states that asylum seekers can no longer remain within the US if they have not received responses to their immigration applications. They, under this policy, must remain in Mexico during their immigration process. Currently, they are not financially stable and live in temporary shelters, which caught the attention of dozens of immigrant rights advocates and activists.

To defend this policy, the Trump administration argues that most asylum applications are rejected because immigrants do not meet mandatory requirements. Therefore, in its opinion, only those who meet the requirements should have the right to reside and work in the US.

HRF comments on the “Remain in Mexico” policy

Human Rights First (HRF), a nonprofit humanitarian organization, released a report in December 2020 called “Humanitarian Disgrace: U.S. Continues to Illegally Block, Expel Refugees to Danger.” HRF states that the Trump administration continues, despite the health crisis, to send asylum seekers to Mexico under the MPP, which violates the country’s Constitution and human rights.

Adding to that, HRF declares that asylum seekers are living in dangerous cities of Mexico and the Trump administration is forgetting about their needs and how they are trying to flee from risky environments. HRF also mentions how the current administration of the US has used the health crisis caused by the global Coronavirus pandemic to expel asylum seekers in a matter of hours.

The comprehensive investigation exposes the current government’s restrictions on the political asylum process, not just MPP, and how these policies have affected the lives of thousands of innocent people.

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