FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2022
Remain in Mexico Ends – A Step Towards Restoring Asylum
“The administration must recognize the humanitarian reality that is at stake
and we cannot wait until the midterms for action.”
Washington –Today, representatives from immigrant and refugee rights organizations and service providers spoke to the press to explain why their organizations joined more than 110 other organizations in signing a letter urging the Biden administration to take immediate action to wind down the Remain in Mexico policy.
“While the Biden administration’s efforts to terminate Remain in Mexico may have been constrained by lower court rulings in Texas v. Biden, the Supreme Court’s decision now gives them license to move forward. But since the decision was issued on June 30th, we haven’t heard much from the administration – except that their hands are tied until the Supreme Court sends a certified copy of its judgment to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which must then send it back to the district court. That usually takes about a month, but we have urged the government to expedite this process to the extent possible. In the meantime, the government must begin the critical work necessary to end MPP once and for all—and to redress the harm it has caused,” said Melissa Crow, Director of Litigation at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies.
“In a recent visit to shelters in northern Mexico, I spoke with dozens of women in Remain in Mexico who expressed a myriad of concerns about squalid and dangerous conditions in Mexico, their lack of safety, as well as the psychological and physical impact the wait has had on them,” said Savitri Arvey, policy advisor in the Migrant Rights and Justice program at Women’s Refugee Commission. “Given the Supreme Court’s decision, these women are now anxiously awaiting to see what happens next. We urge the Biden administration to take swift action to end Remain in Mexico once and for all, and create a process so all asylum seekers subjected to the policy– like the women I met— can continue their asylum cases from safety.”
“The realities of the Remain in Mexico Program are those of violence and preying upon the most vulnerable among us,” said Marisa Limón Garza, Senior Director for Advocacy and Programming at Hope Border Institute. “This is very much a choice that the Biden Administration must act on today… What I see now by accompanying, by serving, by walking with people impacted by this program–this is a program of family separation, this is a program that impacts vulnerable people directly and it’s a collateral damage that the United States is willing to incur… What I can firmly attest to is that this Administration needs to recognize the humanitarian reality that is at stake, and we cannot wait until after the midterms for action.”
“We should recognize this moment as a first step in the right direction, and not a destination. We will continue to advocate for an asylum system that upholds the inherent dignity of each person who comes to our country in search of safety,” said Esther Sung, Legal Director of Justice Action Center. “While we celebrate a Supreme Court order that allows the Biden administration to remove the moral and legal stain of Remain in Mexico, the next few weeks will be critical in determining whether we can create a system in which all who come here are truly safe.”
The full text of the letter, with six specific steps the administration can take today to uphold its commitment to ending this inhumane policy is available here. A recording of the call is available here.
The Welcome with Dignity Campaign is composed of more than 100 national and regional organizations committed to transforming the way the United States receives and protects people forced to flee their homes to ensure they are treated humanely and fairly. To learn more and join our campaign visit: welcomewithdignity.org