Breaking: Border-Based Asylum Groups Walk Out of Meeting With Biden Officials

The #WelcomeWithDignity campaign is sharing this statement on behalf of our Border partners who participated in today’s protest.

Breaking: Border-Based Asylum Groups Walk Out of Meeting With Biden Officials

“It is not possible to make the inhumane, humane”

 

For Immediate Release: October 16, 2021

Background: During a virtual briefing this morning between Biden administration officials and Border advocates regarding the news that the Biden Administration will revive the cruel Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ border policy next month, Border advocates and national allies walked out of the meeting in protest. The Border groups on the call have been working with people seeking asylum for years at the Southern Border and made clear to the government that any form of MPP is untenable and cruel. 

 

“As border advocates, legal service providers, and witnesses to the horrific harms of deterrence-based asylum policy, we want to express our anger and disappointment with the Administration’s decision to break a promise and to restart MPP. There is no improved version of MPP. It is not possible to make the inhumane, humane, unfair, fair, or to breathe life into a deadly program. We have been clear with the Administration on this for months and strongly disagree that you are compelled to act this way by the court ruling. We respect you personally, your effort and commitment, and your individual values, but we have sadly reached a turning point.

We can no longer come into these conversations in good conscience when the Biden Administration continues to perpetuate illegal and inhumane Trump-era immigration policies, such as Title 42 and now MPP.  Advocates engaged with many of you during the Transition and beginning of the Administration. We even provided the Administration with a roadmap that included solutions and how to restore the asylum system. Yet, you continue to play politics with human lives; your policies are sending people to their death. 

We refuse to be complicit in deterrence-based border policies. We continue to witness first-hand people crushed under them, every day.  We cannot allow our efforts to help the victims of these policies to be used in any way to prolong them.

We will not engage with the Administration around conversations on how to make MPP a palatable form of inhumanity. We demand that you issue a new termination memo and develop a concrete plan that ends MPP and starts moving us toward a fair, just, and welcoming system. We as border advocates, legal service providers, and national allies will not engage further in this conversation until the Administration is ready to deliver on their day one campaign promise: do everything in your power to end MPP, issue a new termination memo and start moving us towards a system grounded in empathy, dignity, and respect. 

Representing all five border welcoming regions and the suffering migrants who should be at this table, we now ask all our partners and colleagues to stand in solidarity with those we serve by respectfully walking out of this meeting.”

 

During the reading of the statement, the more than 60 advocates changed their Zoom background to black squares with text that read “End MPP: Restore Asylum Now” and “Protect Black Immigrants.” 

 

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