Return of MPP puts asylum seekers in danger, RGV non-profits say

Local News

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Biden administration’s request to temporarily suspend a federal judge’s ruling requiring the reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

Felicia Rangel-Samponaro, a director of the non-profit the Sidewalk School for Children Asylum Seekers, said she is dedicated to teaching asylum-seeking children in nine different cities in Mexico but that is not all they do.

“We have a clinic, we pay doctor’s salaries every week, we buy medication in bulk and give it out for free, we buy groceries for an entire neighborhood of asylum seekers,” said Rangel-Samponaro.

However, Samponaro said that if MPP is reinstated that could mean they would have to prepare for more.

“So, on top of all the schools, we have our hands in everything else that’s going on,” said Rangel-Samponaro.

Another non-profit, Team Brownsville, said when President Biden halted MPP in January many most asylum seekers were able to cross over leading the Matamoros camp to close down.

Andrea Rudnik, the co-founder of Team Brownsville, said though this one closed, another one is growing Reynosa.

“The encampments that are happening now are not official encampments, for example, I am told there are 5,000 people now in the plaza in Reynosa,” said Rudnik.

Credit: Sidewalk School drone picture of the Reynosa migrant camp

Rangel-Samponaro said that many asylum seekers were expelled to border towns, one being Reynosa, and they are living there at a plaza.

If MPP is reinstated, Samponaro said their stay could be extended by months and even years.

“Reynosa is ten times as dangerous as Matamoros ever was, people do get dragged off that plaza and get kidnapped while people watch,” said Rangel-Samponaro.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with the correct name of the non-profit.

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