Unhcr and prominent groups criticize controversial program

Emir Olivares Alonso and Jessica Xantomila

La Jornada newspaper
Friday, December 3, 2021, p. 4

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) rejected the reestablishment of the controversial Stay in Mexico program – agreed to by the United States and Mexico – and emphasized that they will not support its reactivation.

The UNHCR stressed that the modifications announced by both governments are insufficient to provide certainty and security to all migrants who request asylum in the United States and are sent to Mexico, as established by the program, officially called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP, for its acronym in English).

He recalled that since the beginning of the program – in January 2019 during the government of former US President Donald Trump – has expressed grave concern about MPPs and their impact on the safety of asylum seekers and their right to due process. The modifications announced to this policy are not sufficient to address these fundamental concerns., he remarked.

The UN Refugee Agency noted that will not support the reinstatement of this policy.

For its part, the IOM recalled that since the beginning of the MPP it has publicly criticized them considering it inhumane and contrary to international law, since it endangers people in mobility contexts. In its social networks, this UN agency urged the United States authorities to put an end to the MPPs as soon as possible and definitively.

It indicated that since the beginning of the plan, it has provided humanitarian assistance to people at the border, including those subject to MPPs. Our intervention from IOM can make a difference in the protection of people under PPM, in the mitigation of risks, the response and prevention of gender violence, the fight against human trafficking, mental health, psychosocial support and the protection of childhood.

International organizations were joined by the Institute for Women in Migration (Imumi) and Save the Children, who also expressed their concern about MPPs. Imumi stressed that with this measure, the Mexican government Once again, he becomes an accomplice in the violation of the rights of people requesting international protection.

It pointed out that during the two years that the program was active, “the majority of the population returned to Mexican territory remained in inhuman conditions and were victims of kidnappings, rapes and other violent acts –even death–, attacks committed by immigration agents, police and organized crime. To date there is no investigation by the Mexican government on these events. “

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