U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Expresses Concern Over Reimplementation of Migrant Protection Protocols

December 3, 2021 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON - On December 2, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico,” would restart the week of December 6. This announcement follows an agreement reached between the United States and Mexico to reimplement the program with certain modifications. In October, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a memorandum to terminate MPP, following a federal district court ruling vacating his earlier termination of the program. The federal government’s appeal of that ruling is pending. In the meantime, DHS is complying with the court’s order to reinstate MPP. Its revival comes as the Biden Administration continues to use Title 42 of the U.S. Code to expel asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants, bypassing normal immigration proceedings and skirting due process protections.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has opposed MPP since it was first introduced in 2019. Reaffirming that position, Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, issued the following statement:

“We are deeply dismayed by the reimplementation of MPP. Unfortunately, attempts by the Administration to make this program ‘more humane’—however well intentioned—will not cure its inherent faults, nor will they alleviate its inevitable toll on human lives. We are especially concerned that this will perpetuate the existing tragedy of family separation, since many mothers and fathers are likely to feel compelled to part ways with their children in a desperate attempt to ensure their safety.

“On the First Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis prayed for migrants and renewed his appeal for leaders to find solutions that respect their humanity. In solidarity with the Holy Father, we strongly urge the Administration to take all necessary action to end MPP and replace it with an approach that respects human dignity, exemplifies our national values, upholds the rule of law, and embraces Christ’s call to welcome the newcomer.”

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