Council and Partners Submit Amicus Brief to Stop the Reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols

Brief highlights the court's many factual errors about MPP in its decision to reinstate the program


August 18, 2021

This amicus brief asks the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to stop the reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). MPP forcibly returned people seeking asylum in the United States to dangerous conditions in Mexico while their cases progressed through U.S. courts. The brief highlights many critical and devastating facts the lower court glossed over: MPP was a humanitarian catastrophe -- asylum seekers were murdered, raped, kidnapped, extorted, and compelled to live in squalid conditions where they faced significant procedural barriers to meaningfully presenting their protection claims. But the lower court ignored the serious and intractable problems the government has now acknowledged with MPP, ordering the Department of Homeland Security to reinstate MPP.

The brief argues that the lower court's decision should be tossed out because it rests on bad facts: that MPP effectively (1) deterred migration, indicated by increased arrivals following MPP’s suspension in January 2021; and (2) reduced meritless asylum claims, indicated by the high rates of in absentia removal orders issued to MPP enrollees. The Council and signatories ask the Fifth Circuit to halt the lower court's poorly reasoned and factually flawed decision.

This brief was authored in collaboration with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, Human Rights First, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

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