Stay in Mexico 2.0

The inhuman and disastrous Stay in Mexico (MPP) program, which had been canceled by Biden at the beginning of his term, is back.

This policy obliges asylum seekers in the United States to follow their processes on the Mexican side. More than 70,000 people were stranded on Mexico’s northern border from 2018 to 2020. After a legal battle started in a federal court in Texas, the US Supreme Court ruled that the program should be reinstated, arguing that the government’s Department of Security The US has violated the law by stopping the MPP program and must therefore restart it.

This decision sets a negative precedent by challenging the principle of non-interference by the Court in the affairs of other countries, since Mexico is indispensable for the implementation of the program.

Since the presidential campaign, Biden has spoken out against and promised to put an end to this policy. They stressed that it was the first time in the history of the United States that those who seek refuge in their country have to do so by waiting in another, taking risks from those who flee.

Organizations and institutions such as Human Right Watch and the National Human Rights Commission in Mexico have analyzed this policy in depth and emphasize that nearly 80% of the people who were part of its first edition suffered some type of abuse, in addition to that waiting times were long and due process was violated for many of the migrants. Likewise, they recommend putting in place a comprehensive reception policy to face the challenges of this type of program. Also, it is worth remembering that only 5% of refugee claims were successful. Nine out of 10 applications are rejected for not meeting the requirements.

The push factors to seek refuge in another country are multiple and do not stop either with the covid or with containment policies. From political reasons, violation of human rights by the authorities, family violence, natural disasters, belonging to a social group, religious reasons, family reunification and unfortunately homicidal violence and threats from criminal groups that have become the main motive for many of those who migrate.

The policy of Stay in Mexico 2.0 promises some improvements such as vaccination, processes of no more than 180 days, support for organizations and shelters that help these people and the protection of vulnerable populations or those who express fear of waiting in Mexico. However, within a week of this policy being reinstated, it is unclear how these changes will be implemented.

In its first five days, it accumulated 135 migrants in Ciudad Juárez and it is estimated that in the coming weeks between 15 and 20 thousand migrants will enter. In the first version of the Permanece en México, only 6,500 had legal support and only 740 people were benefited from the refuge in the United States. The rest stayed in Mexican territory, returned to their place of origin despite the dangers or crossed irregularly to the neighboring country to the north.

Today, the challenge is greater than it was in Trump’s time. Many of the applicants travel as a family, with girls, boys and adolescents. Additionally, the Biden administration will continue to use Title 42 public health law to swiftly expel most of those who cross the border. Since mid-March, hundreds of Central Americans have been returned to Mexico every day. Likewise, abuse of migrants by organized crime groups has increased, extortion, kidnapping and rape are the order of the day. Finally, if Mexico has accepted to be the filter in the north and the wall in the south to please the government of the United States, it must support with resources and comprehensive policies to comply with an orderly, safe and regular migration.

* Coordinator of the Migrant Agenda

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