An immigration enforcement advocacy organization is praising DHS for now requiring Brazilian migrants to wait in Mexico for their U.S. asylum hearings.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently expanded its Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) to include Brazilian migrants seeking asylum in the United States. The move comes as Brazilian migrant apprehensions have increased by elevenfold from last year.
The program was implemented in January 2019 and has been effective in returning to Mexico roughly 60,000 migrants who come mostly from the northern triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), says immigration officials have apprehended approximately 17,000 migrants from Brazil this fiscal year -- a drastic increase from the roughly 1,600 apprehended in FY 2018.
"There is tremendous poverty in Brazil, as there is throughout Latin America; there is rampant crime, but those are not grounds for political asylum in the United States," Mehlman asserts. "Political asylum is reserved for people who are being singled out for persecution by their governments based on a series of considerations such as race, religion, [or] political beliefs. What we're seeing in Brazil is the same phenomenon that we have seen from other countries, where people recognize that the asylum system in the United States is easily taken advantage of."
Mehlman says the addition of Brazil to the Migrant Protection Protocols confirms that they work effectively to deter migrants seeking asylum.