U.S. Border Response

The Biden administration continues to undo the damage done to the immigration system, but the changes will take time. Gradually ending the Migrant Protection Protocols — or MPP, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program — is a top priority. Many elements of the Biden administration’s plan mirror recommendations made in HIAS’ “Roadmap to Recovery” report on ending MPP, including prioritizing vulnerable asylum seekers and processing family units together. HIAS is working closely with UNHCR to help those in MPP gain entry to the U.S. We are providing extensive community education to asylum seekers waiting in Mexico, including “Know Your Rights” presentations and remote meetings with experienced asylum attorneys.

  • HIAS has seven offices in Mexico in Juarez, Matamoros, Mexicali, Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Tijuana. We  are providing people with legal services and information  including legal assistance for asylum in the U.S. and Mexico, legal representation to stay in Mexico, and Know Your Rights workshops  and mental health services and gender-based violence prevention as well. We also provide legal services in Matamoros. HIAS works with partners on the U.S. side of the border for true cross-border collaboration. 
     
  • HIAS is proud to have placed Border Fellows in non-profit legal organizations along the southern border to increase their capacity to provide legal representation to asylum seekers in and out of detention. One fellow is working out of our affiliate, JFS San Diego, and two fellows are working with partners in El Paso, Texas: Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center and Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services; and one fellow is working with the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) in Brownsville, Texas.
     
  • Given the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, for the safety of our staff and volunteers, HIAS has suspended all in-person client meetings and all non-essential travel, including delegations to the border. We are however still actively recruiting volunteers to help asylum seekers remotelySpanish-speaking individuals can volunteer remotely to support HIAS' Border Response Team in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, providing services to asylum seekers. Find out more and sign up hereIf you are a lawyer and interested in helping, you can offer your legal services doing remote pro bono representation of asylum seekers at the border. Please see our Pro Bono page where you can sign up for our monthly orientation and for more information.
     
  • Helpful Resources:
    Know Your Rights
    video for people in the MPP program: SpanishPortuguese
    Mam (Indigenous Guatemalan language)K’iche/Quiché (Indigenous Guatemalan language) 
    Information in Spanish about the Prompt Asylum Claim Review (PACR) and Asylum Cooperation Agreement (ACA) programs

  • We continue to mobilize the Jewish community to be a strong, persistent moral voice in support of fair, humane treatment of asylum seekers and we engage in asylum advocacy in Washington. Read about an action here to deliver a letter signed by 1,200 Jewish clergy in support of the rights, dignity, and safety of asylum seekers.

Find out about ways to take action for refugees and asylum seekers here

See the stories below for how HIAS has been working to help asylum seekers at the border since the crisis started.


 

Joint Letter to President Biden, Secretary Mayorkas and Attorney General Garland on Title 42

Sep 20, 2021

HIAS, along with 70 other organizations, has signed a letter demanding that the Biden administration "immediately end its embrace, defense, and advancement of illegal and cruel Trump administration policies that harm families and people seeking protection and bolster xenophobic rhetoric by treating people seeking protection as threats."

The Tragedy of "Remain in Mexico"

Sep 17, 2021

For 70,000 people, the U.S. Supreme Court’s late August “Remain in Mexico” decision is a tragedy beyond their control.

We Still Need to Help at the U.S-Mexico Border

Jun 29, 2021

HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield visited the HIAS teams in Monterrey, Ciudad Juárez, Tijuana, and Mexicali who are helping hundreds of asylum seekers.

HIAS Welcomes The End of 'Remain In Mexico' Policy

Jun 02, 2021

On June 1, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas issued a memorandum officially terminating the Remain in Mexico program. Formally referred to as the Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP, the Remain in Mexico program forced more than 71,000 asylum seekers to wait in dangerous areas...

Pressure Grows On Biden To Reverse Title 42

May 27, 2021

The use of the harsh Trump era policy is gaining wider attention — and earning more and more criticism.

One Man's Journey Is Every Man's Story

May 24, 2021

Yeinier's journey from Cuba to the United States took 22 months; with HIAS’ help, his story had a happy ending, but it came at a high price.

Listen: Podcast Recounts Asylum Seekers' Border Nightmare

May 11, 2021

In the latest episode of Crossing Borders, we hear from asylum seekers trapped at the U.S.-Mexico border and the HIAS workers trying to get them to safety.

Good News and Bad News at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Apr 07, 2021

Some asylum seekers trapped in Mexico are finally being allowed into the United States, but other border policies are still causing serious harm to people in need of safety.

The Real Story at the U.S.-Mexico Border

What is the status of human rights at the border? Who is able to seek safety in our country, and who is being turned away from seeking asylum?

What's Really Happening at the U.S.-Mexico Border?

Mar 23, 2021

What is the situation at the border and with asylum seekers? And what changes has the Biden administration made to its policies? Here are some answers.

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