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On December 20, 2018, the Trump administration created the Migrant Protection Protocols (“MPP”), followed by formal guidance issued on January 25, 2019. The cited purpose of MPP was to “combat an influx of illegal aliens” into the United States, to alleviate the “resource constraints” which “forced DHS to release thousands of undocumented aliens into the United States and to trust that those aliens would voluntarily appear for their removal proceedings.” The guidance removed “aliens apprehended at the Southwest border” or anyone who “left a third country and traveled through Mexico to reach the U.S. border”and placed them in Mexico while they were “awaiting their removal proceedings.”According to Section 235(b)(2)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the Secretary of Homeland Security is allowed “to return applicants for admission to the contiguous country from which they are arriving on land pending their removal proceedings.” The Trump administration employed the “programmatic use” of this authority to justify MPP. In December of 2018, “Mexico agreed to admit MPP enrollees so such aliens could be held outside the United States pending their removal proceedings.”

This post was originally published on the Cardozo Journal of Equal Rights and Social Justice website on January 31, 2022. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.

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