DHS expands controversial ‘Remain in Mexico’ program to sixth border city

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Migrants in Eagle Pass, Texas, will be returned to Mexico; many 'fraudulent or non-meritorious' asylum cases have been closed, Acting Secretary says

(Photo courtesy Eagle Pass Chamber of Commerce)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The federal government has expanded the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) program to a sixth border city.

As of Oct. 28, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is processing migrants in Eagle Pass, Texas, for their return to Mexico to await outcomes of asylum claims. This brings to six the number of American border cities effecting the MPP program, DHS says.

The agency maintains that the MPP program — which has been harshly criticized by immigrant advocates who way it puts foreigners at risk by making them wait in often-dangerous Mexican cities — has been crucial in allowing the federal government to stem the Central American migrant crisis that started a year ago.

DHS says that Mexico has committed to receiving non-Mexican citizens at Piedras Negras. Those sent back through Eagle Pass will be given notices-to-appear at the temporary hearing facility in Laredo, Texas, in two to four months, the agency said.

“The President is using every tool available to address the humanitarian crisis at the border to include domestic policy changes and fostering collaboration with out neighbors in the region,” said DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan in a statement. “We are confident in the program’s integrity and ability to adjudicate asylum claims quickly and with due process. We have already seen individuals granted asylum, and many more fraudulent or non-meritorious cases closes.”

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