Since my trip to the U.S./Mexico border last summer, the situation for families seeking asylum has only become more challenging, especially in light of the Administration’s new “Remain in Mexico” policy. This week, I am in Mexico along with Proskauer colleagues, Valarie McPherson, special immigration counsel, and Savannah Sosa, a project assistant. We are providing asylum presentations and individual consultations in partnership with Institute for Women in Migration, IMUMI (www.imumi.org).
The new policy raises a number of questions, but first some background.
The Remain in Mexico Policy
On December 20, 2018, the Administration announced that it would begin implementing a “Remain in Mexico” policy – officially dubbed the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) – which requires asylum-seekers from Central America at the southern border to wait in Mexico for the duration of their U.S. immigration proceedings. This marks a fundamental shift in asylum policy because, until now, asylum-seekers who lack valid entry documentation generally have been placed in expedited removal proceedings. Applicants who passed a credible fear interview were then allowed to remain in the U.S., pending immigration court proceedings.