In January 2020, MPP (also know as “Remain in Mexico”) was implemented at the Arizona border. A border wide policy that forced nearly 70,000 people seeking asylum to wait in Mexico for court dates in their asylum cases, it has endangered the lives of every single person subjected to it. While President Biden halted new admissions to the policy when he took office, the rollback of the policy has been unwieldy and slow, and the people we serve in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico have been largely forgotten in the initial phase.
Additionally, since March 2020, the border has been effectively closed to all migrants. Virtually no one has been allowed by CBP to present at ports of entry, and anyone who crosses the border between ports of entry is immediately expelled back to Mexico without seeing an immigration judge or having their safety considered. This policy, known as Title 42, was issued by the Trump administration despite objections by senior CDC medical experts that it lacked a public health justification. Thus far, the Biden administration has elected to keep the policy in place. Like people who have been subjected to MPP, people expelled to Mexico under Title 42 are in grave danger: our clients continually report extortion, kidnapping, threats of violence, injury, and illness while in Mexico.
In response to these significant challenges, the Florence Project’s Border Action Team is currently maintaining a seven day a week presence on the ground in Nogales, Sonora, with at least two people present each day to ensure that people who are in MPP, expelled under Title 42, or newly arriving to the border have access to high-quality legal services. We can only do this work with your support. Thank you for making this work possible.