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UNHCR comment on reinstatement of U.S. policy that endangers asylum seekers

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Asylum seekers at an informal camp in Matamoros, Mexico, February 2021. © IOM/Alberto Cabezas

This statement is attributable to Matthew Reynolds, UNHCR Representative for the United States and the Caribbean

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is aware of the United States government’s announcement on reinstating the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program.

UNHCR has from the start expressed its serious concerns about the MPP and its impact on asylum seekers’ safety and their due process rights. The announced adjustments to the policy are not sufficient to address these fundamental concerns.

UNHCR was never involved in implementing MPP and will not be supporting the reinstated policy. We supported the U.S. government’s work earlier this year to end the MPP program and urge the United States to continue to follow through with those efforts, in line with the recent memorandum issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

We stand ready to work with all relevant authorities to ensure border and asylum measures and policies are in accordance with international refugee and human rights law.

For more information on this topic, please contact:

  • In Washington, Kevin Keen, keen@unhcr.org, +1 202 914 8172