Defund and Abolish U.S. “Migrant Protection Protocols” | Physicians for Human Rights

Defund and Abolish U.S. “Migrant Protection Protocols”

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The United States government's so-called “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP) obstruct individuals’ legal right to seek asylum in the United States and expose asylum seekers who are already in vulnerable situations to further violence, extortion, and other physical and psychological trauma. PHR's medical and human rights experts have documented the harmful impacts of this policy and are joining a growing national coalition pushing to end MPP once and for all. Tell Congress: it's time to abolish MPP and respect the fundamental rights of asylum seekers. 

Your Message
Seeking Asylum is Legal
Dear Members of Congress,

I am writing to urge you to support legislation that would defund and abolish the so-called “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP). The policy obstructs individuals’ legal right to seek asylum in the United States and exposes already vulnerable asylum seekers to further violence, extortion, and other physical and psychological trauma.

One year after being announced by the Department of Homeland Security, MPP has offered the very opposite of protection, endangering more than 42,000 asylum seekers that were sent back to Mexico under this policy.

Returning asylum seekers to Mexico – a country that itself struggles with gang violence, trafficking, and impunity for crimes – has put individuals and families fleeing persecution directly back into harm’s way. Research by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, warns that asylum seekers being returned to Mexico face violence from gangs and organized crime that carry out extortion schemes, kidnappings, and killings. These are the very patterns of violence that asylum seekers are fleeing.

PHR’s research shows how asylum seekers often arrive at the U.S. border with severe signs and symptoms of PTSD and depression. PHR medical experts warn that returning these vulnerable and traumatized people to dangerous settings in Mexico is a catastrophic stressor to their health and could have long-lasting impacts. Further, the amount of time asylum seekers spend waiting is often correlated with an increase in complex physical and mental health problems. The MPP have also created unsafe, unsanitary, and inhumane conditions along the border, such as in the large and growing migrant encampment in Matamoros, Mexico. A PHR medical expert described the settlement as “a refugee camp in the making, mere steps from the United States – but one with no form of medical services, security, or reliable food and potable water supply.”

As my elected Member of Congress, I call on you to support the Asylum Seeker Protection Act – legislation that affirms the right to seek asylum, recognizes the danger of forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico, and seeks to end all funding for the Migrant Protection Protocols immediately.

I urge you to support this important legislation to end the devastating impacts of the MPP on thousands of individuals and families, and to reassert the U.S. commitment to humane and rights-respecting practices on our border.


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