Immigration Law

'Remain in Mexico' Plan Echoes Earlier U.S. Policy to Deter Haitian Migration

Muzaffar Chishti and Jessica Bolter, MPI, Mar. 28, 2019

"Under the Trump administration’s new Remain in Mexico policy, more than 200 asylum seekers have been sent back to Mexico by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to wait for weeks or longer until their U.S. asylum determination hearings take place. Implemented through a process formally called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), this is potentially the most far-reaching of the administration’s policies to deter sharply rising flows of migrants from the Northern Triangle of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras). And unlike the administration’s other attempted deterrence policies, this one is extraordinary in its active involvement of a sovereign foreign power.

Remain in Mexico has striking similarities to a U.S. policy of the 1980s and early 1990s that turned back large flows of Haitian migrants attempting to seek asylum in the United States, though it has important differences as well. Both then and now, the policies, which were implemented at a time of U.S. government doubt about the veracity of many of the asylum claims, focused on keeping migrants from entering the United States, applying for asylum, and staying in the United States while the asylum claim is being adjudicated. ...[more...]"