Legal advocacy group in Arizona preparing as Migrant Protection Protocols renews

Published: Monday, December 13, 2021 - 6:26pm
Updated: Monday, December 13, 2021 - 7:47pm
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The U.S. has officially begun sending migrants back to Mexico under the revamped Migrant Protection Protocols program, or MPP, the Trump-era policy that forces asylum seekers to await U.S. court hearings in Mexico. 

International aid groups say more than 80 people have been sent across the border so far, with the first two being sent back to Ciudad Juarez from El Paso last week, according to the U.N.'s International Organization for Migration. 

Asylum hearings will only take place in a few U.S. immigration courts, and, just like the original MPP, Chelsea Sachau with the legal advocacy group Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project says that list won’t include Arizona.

"We’re going to possibly have a very limited window to provide any type of services before asylum seekers have to travel all the way to Ciudad Juarez, or possibly Tijuana," Sachau said. 

Sachau's team has been providing crash courses in asylum law to migrants stuck in Nogales under both MPP and the pandemic-era protocol, Title 42. 

She says they haven’t seen any migrants enrolled in new MPP yet, but when they do, the best they can provide is up to date information. 

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