Awareness - November 29, 2021 - We Welcome

Awareness - November 29, 2021

“Remain in Mexico” program could restart as early as this week

According to reporting from Axios, the Biden administration could restart the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) this week if Mexico agrees to allow migrants to be returned across the border. MPP began under the Trump administration, and required asylum seekers to remain in Mexico until their immigration court hearing. The Biden administration attempted to terminate the plan earlier this year, but a federal judge ruled that “good faith efforts” must be made to reinstate the program. The first cities to participate in the updated program will be El Paso, Brownsville, and San Diego, and all adult migrants enrolled in the program will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine.  

The U.S. government and Mexico have been in talks over allowing MPP to restart, but Mexico is reportedly waiting on the U.S. to respond to some of their concerns. These include ensuring that migrants returned to Mexico will have access to healthcare and COVID-19 vaccines, that some especially vulnerable populations would be exempted from the policy, U.S. government funding for migrant shelters, and that the U.S. should consider both Mexico’s capacity and security concerns when returning migrants to wait in Mexico.

27 migrants died in a boat accident while attempting to reach Britain

Twenty seven people were killed last Wednesday when their boat deflated in the Channel between France and Britain. This is the latest in a string of tragedies as migrants fleeing instability, armed conflict, natural disasters, and poverty are met with harsh border policies across the globe. In recent weeks, there have also been migrant deaths along the Poland-Belarus border as people are left in freezing conditions while governments clash over border policies. 

The accident on Wednesday was the worst on record in the Channel, but migrants living in camps in France stated their intentions to continue trying to make the journey.

Thousands of Afghans have applied for humanitarian parole in recent months, but the rate of approvals remains dismally low 

Over 28,000 humanitarian parole applications have been submitted by Afghans seeking to flee the country since July, but only around 100 have been approved. Historically, the number of applicants per year has been low with an average approval rate of 2,000 per year. 

Furthermore, the United States has received over 10,000 referrals for a P-2 refugee designation that was created for at-risk Afghans. Many vulnerable Afghans, from those with U.S. ties to journalists, are still trapped in Afghanistan or  neighboring countries, seeking a way to safety in the United States.