Migrant Protection Protocols and the Death of Asylum

Journal of Latin American Geography

15 Pages Posted: 28 May 2021

See all articles by Austin Kocher

Austin Kocher

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse

Date Written: March 15, 2021


From January 2019 to January 2021, a Trump-era policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) forced asylum seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border to wait for their hearings in dangerous parts of northern Mexico. MPP had disastrous consequences: very few migrants in MPP had a meaningful chance to request asylum compared to other asylum seekers, and the forced migrants waiting in Mexico faced pervasive violence. President Biden suspended new enrollments in the program on his first day in office and, by late February 2021, migrants who were living in the refugee camp that emerged as a result of MPP in Matamoros, Mexico, began to enter the United States to pursue their asylum claims. As the MPP program—also known as Remain in Mexico—appears to come to a close, this essay examines key aspects of the program through the perspective of ontological, political, and physical death that Alison Mountz theorizes in her recent book The Death of Asylum. Drawing on Mountz’s work, I view MPP as symptomatic of a concerted though spatially uneven assault across the developed world on both the institutions and operations of asylum as a practice as well as on asylum seekers themselves.

Keywords: asylum, U.S.-Mexico border, migrant protection protocols, death of asylum

Suggested Citation

Kocher, Austin, Migrant Protection Protocols and the Death of Asylum (March 15, 2021). Journal of Latin American Geography, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3855098

Austin Kocher (Contact Author)

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse ( email )

488 Newhouse II
Syracuse, NY 13244
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.austinkocher.com

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics