By Ashtyn Porter


As part of enCircle’s growing commitment to helping immigrants and refugees, we hope to shine a light on the experiences of those trying to make a home in the United States. Part of this endeavor is discussing how the changing landscape of immigration rights affects their daily experiences, the work we do, and why it matters.

On July 1 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the legal overturning of the Migrant Protection Protocols, a 2019 policy also known as the "Remain in Mexico" program. The Migrant Protection Protocols (M.P.P.) focused on asylum seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, who are seeking refuge from violence or unlivable conditions in their home country. The M.P.P. required these asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while they underwent the months-long vetting process. Before this policy, asylum seekers were allowed to remain in the U.S. while being vetted, but after it was put into place thousands of immigrants had to await their hearings in often unsafe camps in northern Mexico.

In a 5 to 4 ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts explained in the majority opinion that the Department of Homeland Security does not have to return asylum seekers to Mexico. Going forward, asylum seekers can now stay in the U.S. while they go through the legal system, where they can be in safer housing and receive local aid. Because legal procedures can take years, the impact of this ruling is significant for thousands of immigrants.

As part of our Guiding Principles of Social Justice and Relationships, enCircle aims to be part of a community of support to asylum seekers, and to give assistance as they enter what can be a frightening transitionary period. We offer counseling and support to immigrants after their difficult journey across the border and as they continue to make their way through the legal system. We also work to reunite unaccompanied immigrant children with family members or sponsors and help ensure they have access to community resources. This includes checking in on them while they adjust and providing a comfortable environment for fingerprinting, a step required to receive a background check and as part of the vetting process. Their journey is long and often difficult, but by working together we can help pave an easier road towards a more hopeful and healing future.

Learn more about enCircle's Immigration Services here.