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February 21, 2021

Barragán and Correa Travel to Southern Border to Witness Asylum Seekers Gain U.S. Access as Biden Administration Changes MPP Policy

February 22, 2021

 

Reps. Barragán and Correa will be at the San Ysidro Port of Entry to observe processing of migrants, tour the intake area, meet asylum seekers and speak with legal advocates

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Border Security Chairwoman Nanette Diaz Barragán and House Homeland Security Oversight Chairman Lou Correa will travel to the San Diego-Tijuana border to witness asylum seekers finally get entry into the U.S. after being forced to wait in Mexico in the Migrant Protocol & Protection (MPP) program for months or years. New Biden Administration directives no longer require migrants in the MPP program to remain in Mexico until their immigration cases are decided.

 

“About a year ago, I saw in person the inhumane living conditions in an MPP encampment in Matamoros, Mexico. It was heartbreaking to see the pain, suffering and danger migrants faced as a result of this un-American policy intended to curb our asylum system.

 

“Now, the Biden Administration is moving to end this cruel and inhumane policy and allow MPP migrants to enter the United States as they wait for their case to be decided. I look forward to seeing firsthand this long awaited moment for migrants who will be able to wait in dignity with their families in America. Migrants will also have greater access to counsel in the United States,” Chairwoman Barragán said.

 

“MPP created a refugee crisis on our border and led to human traffickers and violent criminals taking advantage of the migrants sent back to Mexico under the program. It led to horrific living conditions and dangerous circumstances for migrants trying to reach this country – including robbery, assault, kidnapping, and even death. It is time to provide these migrants access to a humane and just process when they present themselves for asylum at our border.”

 

“It is time to end this un-American policy. It’s time to treat migrants with the dignity they deserve and restore our asylum system. Monday, I also hope to see the process undertaken by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and border officials in an effort to better understand challenges and successes with the new directives, ” she said.

 

Chairwoman Barragán and Chairman Correa will meet with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at San Ysidro, tour the West Migrant Protection Protocols Intake Area, observe the processing of asylum seekers, and meet with the workers of non-profit organizations aiding migrants on both sides of the border.

 

The first 25 people in the MPP program were processed and allowed entry through the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego on Friday (2/19).  Ports of Entry in El Paso and Brownsville, Texas, will begin allowing entry to asylum seekers this coming week. All three ports will begin by allowing entry to 25 migrants in the MPP program per day per port of entry and ramp up to 300 migrants per day per port of entry at an unspecified point in the future.

 

Approximately 68,000 asylum seekers are currently stranded in Mexico. Of those, about 25,000 have open immigration cases and are now eligible to be processed to enter the United States while awaiting adjudication. Migrants are being cautioned not to come to the border until advised.

 

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Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington.