House Members Demand DHS Secretary Mayorkas Implement Migrant Protection Protocols

A group of 24 House Republicans, led by Rep. Chip Roy (Texas), penned a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas demanding that he implement the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). This comes following a court decision in which a federal judge ruled that the Biden administration violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) when it ended the successful program.

The Trump administration implemented the MPP during the border surge of 2019, a year in which Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended 977,509 individuals at the Southwest border. The MPP – along with separate asylum agreements with Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador – ended the 2019 surge. Under MPP, asylum-seeking aliens must wait in Mexico throughout the duration of their legal proceedings. This removed a key incentive for most aliens, since most illegal aliens claim asylum knowing that American authorities will release them into the U.S. interior as their cases are processed.

The Biden administration ended the MPP shortly after President Biden took office, claiming that they were inhumane and ineffective. However, Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk ordered the Biden administration to restart the successful program, citing the administration’s failure to follow the APA. Without ruling on the legality of the program, Judge Kacsmaryk noted that the Biden administration ended the program arbitrarily and capriciously.

Secretary Mayorkas and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a statement indicating that while they disagreed with the ruling and will continue fighting it in court, they will nonetheless “comply with the order in good faith” and “engage with the Government of Mexico in diplomatic discussions surrounding the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).”

Supporters of the MPP decision remain wary that Mayorkas will implement the order. That is why Rep. Roy and his fellow House Republicans wrote to the secretary demanding that he follow Judge Kacsmaryk’s ruling. In addition to demanding that Mayorkas follow the court’s decision, the group also asked for an update on a number of statistics regarding the ongoing border crisis. They also requested the action plan that DHS will put in place to comply with the reinstatement of MPP.

FAIR applauds Rep. Roy for his leadership on this issue. He noted on Twitter that the reinstatement of the MPP combined with the ongoing implementation of Title 42 would help reduce the border crisis. However, in order to address the root cause of the issue, Congress has to update and modernize our asylum laws. Asylum must apply only to those with legitimate claims – those whose own governments persecute them for their political and religious beliefs and those with immutable characteristics. Asylum should not and cannot apply to economic migrants, period.