FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 30, 2022
PRESIDENT BIDEN PROMISED TO END MPP.
End Remain in Mexico Now.
Washington – In response to reports that the Biden administration is still inexplicably debating whether to end Remain in Mexico, otherwise known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign urges the President to keep his campaign promise to end the inhumane program. Leading immigrant and refugee rights organizations have outlined immediate actions for the administration to allow people enrolled in the program to pursue their asylum cases within the U.S. Asylum seekers returned to Mexico under this policy have been subject to dangerous and life-threatening conditions, including kidnapping. Policies blocking asylum at the border have a devastating human toll on those seeking safety, particularly to Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQI persons. The policy is an affront to our ideals and a humanitarian disaster.
“The President must follow through with his campaign promise to end the cruel Remain in Mexico program. Anything short of a swift termination disregards the physical and psychological harm this program has caused to thousands of people seeking safety,” said Melina Roche, #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign Manager. “At a minimum, this administration should prove to the American people that they are not following in the footsteps of the xenophobic, anti-immigrant administration that proceeded it. The administration must stand by their success in the Supreme Court by immediately terminating the policy and ensuring that everyone enrolled in Remain in Mexico can finally pursue their asylum claims safely in the United States.”
“We are appalled by reports that Biden administration officials would even consider preserving Trump’s dangerous and illegal Remain in Mexico policy,” said Kate Jastram, Director of Policy & Advocacy at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS). “As the administration has acknowledged, Remain in Mexico is an untenable policy that has exposed thousands of people seeking asylum to grave harm. Ending this travesty was a day one promise by President Biden, and last month the Supreme Court affirmed that it is fully within the administration’s authority to do so. The Biden administration should take the win, act swiftly to wind down Remain in Mexico, and ensure those who have suffered under the policy have a meaningful opportunity to pursue their legal claims safely, in the United States. Every single day this policy remains in place, human lives are in danger. There is no time to lose.”
“We strongly urge the administration to keep its promise and reverse Remain in Mexico, and immediately proceed with protecting and assisting all those who were impacted by this inhumane policy. Indeed, to continue to debate a policy that should never have been enacted in the first place is shameful, damaging, and runs contrary to who we are as a nation of welcome,” said Nili Sarit Yossinger, Executive Director for Refugee Congress.
“Time and again, the Biden administration has rightly denounced the harms of the Remain in Mexico program – one of the Trump administration’s many legacies intended to decimate access to asylum,” said Katharina Obser, Director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission. “In light of the Supreme Court’s decision, the Biden administration should act immediately to ensure that those who’ve been forced to wait in Mexico can safely and swiftly continue their U.S. asylum process from within the United States. Each day the Remain in Mexico program lives on, the lives of those legally seeking protection at U.S. borders are endangered. If the administration wants to set an example of refugee protection globally, it must begin at home.”
“As its reimplementation confirmed, the Remain in Mexico policy is inherently flawed and a danger to people seeking asylum,” said Eleanor Acer, Senior Director for Refugee Protection at Human Rights First. “Anything less than a swift and principled end to this failed policy would continue to inflict human suffering, bolster false narratives peddled by allies of the former administration, undermine the administration’s credibility and subvert refugee law globally. The Biden administration and Department of Homeland Security should move forward urgently to honor their promises and finally bring this disgraceful policy to an end.”
“MPP denies asylum seekers meaningful access to justice. This fundamentally important right under our Constitution must be upheld,” said Sara Ramey, Executive Director of the Migrant Center for Human Rights. “Here on the Texas-Mexico border we have seen first-hand how MPP prevents individuals from obtaining U.S. legal counsel, a basic necessity for people trying to navigate our complex immigration system. As a legal service organization, not only do we see the devastating human cost of MPP, but we have witnessed unrepresented asylum seekers’ almost universal inability to adequately present their cases in court, resulting in extremely high denial rates in comparison to those who are allowed to pursue their cases inside the U.S. The disparity in denial rates indicates that, due solely to MPP, our country is illegally refouling bona fide refugees to countries where they face real threats of persecution and torture.”
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