Biden Administration Allows Previously Excluded Asylum Seekers to Enter the United States

Austin Kocher, PhD
3 min readApr 22, 2021

Biden formally ended Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), but thousands of asylum cases are still in limbo.

Update: CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez reports that the official number of migrants in MPP who have been paroled stands at 8,100 on April 22.

During the Trump administration, the Department of Homeland (DHS) implemented the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — also known as ‘Remain in Mexico’ — in January 2019 in an effort to restrict those seeking asylum from entering the United States.

Under the Biden administration, DHS has ended MPP and begun to admit asylum-seekers that were originally excluded under MPP into the United States. Those of us at TRAC, a research institute as Syracuse University, analyzed the updated data on MPP cases through the end of March 2021 to provide the public with data-driven insights into the evolution of how MPP cases are being handled by the federal government.

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We wanted to understand the roll-out of Biden admin policies that allow migrants to enter the US to pursue their asylum claims.

Here are some of the key findings from the full report (available here).

  • 26,432 MPP cases were pending at the U.S.-Mexico border at the end of January 2021.
  • Since January, the cases of 3,911 people were transferred from MPP courts to non-MPP courts, indicating that these people were permitted to enter the United States to pursue their asylum claims.
  • 28% of the 6,200 MPP cases at the immigration court in Brownsville, Texas were transferred by the end of March 2021. Just 3% of the 10,800 MPP cases at the immigration court in Laredo were transferred.



Austin Kocher, PhD

I study America’s immigration enforcement system. Assistant Professor at TRAC. Graduate of OSU Geography. Online at