Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Kirkpatrick responded to reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be implementing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in the Tucson region. The initial roll out of the MPP policy, known as “Remain in Mexico,” did not include Custom and Border Patrol (CBP) Tucson sector.
According to the Washington Post, officials estimate DHS will send at least one busload each day from the CBP Tucson sector to El Paso, Texas. In El Paso, migrants will be interviewed to determine if they would be at risk in Mexico, and if not, will be sent across the border to Ciudad Juárez to await their U.S. immigration court hearings.
A local CBP official has shared with the Kirkpatrick office that the new policy details are still “very fluid” and the daily transportation count will depend on the amount of people who cross each day. The official said that people currently housed in Tucson shelters are not among those that will be transported and some other exceptions will include:
- Women who are 6 months pregnant or more
- Families with children age 1 year or younger
- Individuals who are physically vulnerable or disabled
“The United States was built by people leaving their homeland and journeying here for a better life, it’s the great American story. Since the Trump Administration announced the implementation of the MPP earlier this year, I have said that it is un-American. Reports have indicated that hundreds of people returned or placed in Mexico under this policy have fallen victim to kidnapping, sexual assault, extortion, and other violations as they await to be heard or provided legal guidance,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “The asylum seekers I have met have shared heartbreaking stories of resilience and hope. They have risked their lives to come to the United States for a better life. Our Tucson community has come to together to offer a humane response. Shelters like Casa Alitas have opened their doors and hearts to asylum seekers being processed. I believe local organizations and shelters have proved it possible to have an organized system for housing people in a humane and structured way — it doesn’t need to be cruel.
“I’m heartbroken to learn that the MPP will now be implemented in Tucson, I believe it is morally wrong and violates domestic and international law. I wait anxiously for the Ninth Circuit ruling of whether or not MPP is legal, and in the meantime, my staff are working with local groups and making call to see if there is anything else we can do to fight this.”