Press

#WelcomeWithDignity Expresses Steadfast Solidarity with Haitians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2021

CONTACT: press@welcomewithdignity.org 

 

#WelcomeWithDignity Expresses Steadfast Solidarity with Haitians

CBP Must No Longer Abuse Asylum Seekers with Impunity

 

Washington Today, the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign expressed its disgust with Customs and Border Protection’s treatment of Haitian people seeking asylum at Del Rio, Texas. The campaign joined dozens of other national organizations and expressed steadfast solidarity with Haitian communities and Haitian-led organizations including #WelcomeWithDignity partner Haitian Bridge Alliance. The campaign called on the United States to immediately halt expulsions to Haiti, end the misuse of Title 42, and examine the pattern of unconscionable abuse of Black asylum seekers by CBP. Human Rights First and the Haitian Bridge Alliance released a fact sheet  today on the Biden administration’s dangerous Haitian expulsion strategy and the U.S. history of illegal and discriminatory mistreatment of Haitians seeking safety in the United States.

 

“The violations of the rights of Haitian migrants and asylum seekers in Del Rio are a direct result of Title 42, which under Trump and Biden has resulted in more than one million illegal expulsions,” said Dylan Corbett, Executive Director of Hope Border Institute. “We must restore asylum at the border, thoroughly overhaul our nation’s immigration laws and begin to address the racism at the root of systems and structures that every day continue to harm the most vulnerable who come to our borders seeking protection.”

 

“The abuse we are witnessing right now against Haitian asylum seekers in Del Rio is abhorrent. The images of Border Patrol officers on horseback chasing and whipping Black Haitians looking for safety following a devastating earthquake and political crisis in Haiti clearly demonstrates the direct linkage between our modern policing institutions and slave patrols – and is a condemnation of the U.S.’ continued investment in the militarization of our southern border which has enabled such violence against primarily Black and Brown migrants and families,” said Fernando García, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights. “Seeking asylum is a legal right, and the Biden administration is violating that right by deporting Haitian asylum seekers en masse without due process. We demand that President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas conduct an investigation into the events in Del Rio against Haitian migrants, and hold Border Patrol and all involved parties accountable. Additionally, we call on Congress to ensure these horrors at our border never happen again by enacting legislation on Border Patrol accountability to stop abuses and protect the rights of all migrants, regardless of their race or country of origin.”

 

“Ramping up expulsions after a federal court ruled the Title 42 policy illegal is outrageous,” said Blaine Bookey, Legal Director at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) and co-counsel in the Huisha-Huisha v. Mayorkas case. “Sending Haitians back to a place where many will face violence, homelessness, and even death without so much as asking whether they have a fear of return is unlawful and unconscionable. CGRS has been working closely with Haitian civil society groups for over two decades. Our partners on the ground report that conditions have never been so dire, even in post-coup periods. President Biden has chosen to embrace the anti-refugee, anti-Black agenda of the Trump administration, and Haitians and their allies will not forget it.”

 

“What is happening in Del Rio right now will go down in history as a shameful symbol of racist and inhumane U.S. border policies designed to expel, divide and exploit people in search of safety,” stated Ian Philabaum, Program Director with Innovation Law Lab. “The Biden Administration can either continue down its path to a legacy of racist border enforcement or halt deportation flights to Haiti and welcome people with dignity.”

 

“The Biden administration’s treatment of our Haitian neighbors lacks a moral compass. We are horrified by the administration’s cruel and inhumane treatment of Haitians seeking refuge in the United States,” said Meredith Owen, Director of Policy and Advocacy for Church World Service. “Faith communities are shocked by the administration’s resumption of deportations and expulsions of Haitian asylum seekers and immigrants, without regard for the life-threatening consequences, and strongly oppose unlawful Title 42 expulsions that persist. We urge the administration to immediately halt removals to Haiti, end all Title 42 expulsions and restore asylum protections, and hold CBP accountable for its abuses against Haitian migrants.”

 

“The Biden administration’s misuse of Title 42 to expel people to danger and refusal to restart asylum aren’t just moral stains on the administration’s record, they directly violate and subvert U.S. refugee law and international treaties,” said Eleanor Acer, Senior Director of Refugee Protection at Human Rights First. “From its horrific treatment of Haitians at the border to its pursuit of a policy that public health experts have confirmed is a xenophobic ploy rooted in racism, the Biden administration continues to wage, not wind down, President Trump’s all-out war on people seeking protection and the U.S asylum system.

 

“We cannot and will not stop shining the spotlight on this administration for its horrific treatment of Haitian people seeking asylum,” said Jonathan Goldman, Executive Director of the Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice. “This is what you get from a system built on a history of white supremacy. Too few people realize the first immigration laws enacted by the US were to ensure citizenship for free white people. When we have a system built on racism, it doesn’t just go away with time. We must transform our immigration system and hold the government accountable for its actions. The Biden administration must immediately suspend removals to Haiti and end Title 42 once and for all.”

 

“The deportation of individuals from Haiti is heartbreaking to watch, and reminiscent of the cruel and illegal policies of the previous administration. It is unacceptable and we implore the Biden administration to halt Title 42 expulsions immediately and keep its earlier promise to restore protection pathways to the US,” said Nili Sarit Yossinger, Executive Director of Refugee Congress.

 

“The brutal mis-treatment of Haitians at Del Rio and their expulsion to a country in crisis is a human rights catastrophe and represents America at its worst, said Yael Schacher, Senior U.S. Advocate at Refugees International. “The flights to Haiti must stop and we must treat Haitians seeking refuge at the border with dignity and due process.”

 

“For an administration that has stated that Black lives matter to them, the photos that circulated the media yesterday point to a different reality. That is the reality that this administration continues to view Black & Indigenous bodies as disposable” said Dr. Jessica Hernandez, Climate Justice Policy Strategist for International Mayan League. “The administration should call those officers shown in the photos beating Haitain refugees into question—this should also be grounds for asylum because those officers violated their human rights. No person should be subjected to this malicious treatment or policing.   The administration should also remediate the violence Haitain climate refugees and asylum seekers experienced by halting the deportation flights. They should come through as an administration that stands for Black lives and do just by our Haitain relatives. The International Mayan League was deeply hurt by those photos and those photos only captured seconds of all the horrendous austracities our Haitain relatives were facing at the hands of this administration. Shame on any political leader who does not use their voice to speak against this.”   

 

“The Biden Administration should be ashamed of its reprehensible, racist treatment of Haitian refugees fleeing political turmoil and environmental disaster,” said Adela de la Torre, deputy director of Justice Action Center. “President Biden must end the double speak and finally follow through on his campaign promises to end Title 42 and treat all immigrants with dignity. We join Black, immigrant-led groups in demanding the administration cease all deportation flights to Haiti, grant humanitarian parole and assistance to Haitian asylum seekers, and investigate CBP’s violence against Haitians in Del Rio, Texas.”

 

“This is a clear moment, where we have a choice in how we welcome some of the world’s most vulnerable people fleeing the effects of climate change and political instability, said Nicole Melaku, executive director of the National Partnership for New Americans. The expulsion of thousands of Hatian migrants without the opportunity to process their claim for asylum or other protected status is a moral failure of our nation and the continued use of TItle 42 is simply reprehensible at a time when this administration should be seeking to undo the immeasurable harm of this racist policy from the last administration. We cannot inch our way toward welcoming Black migrants and turn our heads to ignore the horrific conditions and humanitarian crisis unfolding before us.

 

“The cruelty rooted in hate, white supremacy, and xenophobia that shaped US immigration policies for years continue to brutally harm and oppress millions of people today,” said Denise Bell, researcher for refugee and migrant rights at Amnesty International USA. “The Biden administration has had months to reshape how the United States treats and welcomes people and time and time again, it has failed. People seeking safety deserve much better than this from an administration that promised humanity and dignity. It’s well past time for the US to uphold the right of all people to seek safety in this country and center the dignity and humanity of Haitians seeking safety.”

 

“CLINIC condemns the Biden administration’s unconscionable decision to increase the deportation of thousands of Haitian asylum seekers arriving at the U.S. border pleading to save their lives,” said Anna Gallagher, CLINIC executive director. “This decision is bad domestic, bad foreign policy, immoral and inhumane. It is hypocritical to redesignate Temporary Protected Status for Haiti, based on the conclusion that it is too dangerous for people to return to Haiti pre-earthquake, and now take this decision to expedite deportations to even worse conditions. 

 

CLINIC wishes to make clear to every Black asylum seeker and immigrant that we see you and your lives matter. To our Black immigrant partners – we stand in solidarity and action with you at this horrific moment and for as long as it takes to eradicate anti-Black racism and policy from the U.S. immigration system.”

 

“It is unconscionable and unfathomably cruel that the Biden administration is ramping up removal flights to Haiti at a time when the country is reeling from the aftermath of a catastrophic earthquake and the assassination of its president,” said Laura St. John, Legal Director at the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project. “Despite the fact that the Biden administration has designated Haiti for Temporary Protected Status and a court last week ruled that expelling families under Title 42 is illegal, the administration nevertheless appears determined to slam the doors to the United States shut to Haitians seeking safe refuge. We strongly urge the administration to immediately reverse course, halt all planned deportation flights, and allow Haitians seeking asylum the opportunity to exercise their right to request safety and protection here in the United States.” 

 

Carolina Martin Ramos, Esq., Co-Executive Director, Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim, stated: “The world watches as U.S. immigration authorities, reminiscent of slave patrols, whip Black refugees at the southern border. How many times will we watch news of Black and Brown bodies subjected to violence and death at the hands of CBP? Besides Federal Indian Law, U.S. immigration policies are some of the most obvious examples of white supremacy under U.S. settler colonial law and policy. It is 2021 and under the Biden administration, we are still seeing horrific images of Black bodies subjected to state violence. We stand with our Black and African descent relatives to demand that our Haitian relatives seeking asylum are treated with dignity and respect. We cannot ignore these serious human rights violations by the U.S. government on Indigenous stolen lands. U.S. political interventions along with corporate business interests have created the conditions that continue to displace African descent and Indigenous peoples from places like Haiti and Guatemala. U.S. foreign policies effectively force us to seek asylum in the U.S. and then U.S. immigration officials brutalize us when we seek to assert our rights to seek asylum under international laws. These human rights abuses are delegitimizing the United States in the world’s eyes and showing that the U.S. has never really stood as a beacon for human rights. We stand adamantly in our commitment to fight for the dignity and human rights of our Black and Haitian relatives and CMPI stands with all our relations to decry all violence and suffering caused by settler colonialism and white supremacy on stolen lands.” 

 

“The inhumane brutality exercised at the southern border by CBP officials using horse whips to attack and terrorize Haitian migrants brings to light the xenophobic and white supremacist foundations of our immigration system. An investigation must take place immediately to hold those involved accountable. The administration must look long and hard at these images and recommit to a complete rehaul of our asylum system starting with ending Title 42, immediate suspension of deportation flights to Haiti, and increased parole for Haitian migrants. DHS must address the appallingly toxic culture of CBP immediately. By ignoring the demands of Haitian-led organizations like Haitian Bridge, the administration is choosing to perpetuate anti-blackness. We will not stand idly by and allow this to happen to our Haitian community.” – Joyce Noche, Legal Services Director, Immigrant Defenders Law Center

 

Michele Garnett McKenzie, Deputy Director of The Advocates for Human Rights, stated: “The Advocates for Human Rights is outraged by the physical assaults and verbal abuse of Haitians by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Del Rio. This conduct violates the fundamental human right to seek asylum and runs counter to our values as a nation. DHS must take immediate action to investigate and hold individuals accountable for these human rights violations. DHS also must fix the systemic failures and toxic organizational culture which allows abuses like this to occur. The United States must commit to a migration system that recognizes and holds people accountable for ensuring human dignity.” 

 

“We are appalled by the cruel treatment we’ve seen from U.S. border officials towards Haitians along the U.S.-Mexico border. To expel Haitian families and adults back to a country suffering multiple crises, when even Haitian government officials have said they cannot accept people, is unconscionable. A federal court has already ruled that the Title 42 policy is illegal, it’s time to end it. We urge the Biden Administration to immediately halt removals of Haitians and instead utilize humanitarian parole to process them fairly, ensuring that all those who seek protection can do so humanely. We can do better as a country and extend a welcoming hand to our Haitian neighbors. This is not who we are,” states Daniella Burgi-Palomino, LAWG Co-director.

 

“It is reprehensible that Haitian families seeking safety amidst political violence and a devastating earthquake at home are met with anti-Black violence and no real opportunity to seek protection at the U.S. border,” said Katharina Obser, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission. “That the administration is choosing to respond to Haitians seeking safety by increasing removal flights full of families, including children, back to Haiti continues its morally indefensible and unlawful deterrence tactics and denies those legally seeking safety any meaningful chance to do so. We urge the Biden administration and Secretary Mayorkas to enact desperately needed accountability for what is happening along the border, and to once and for all ensure Haitian migrants can exercise their legal right to seek asylum with dignity.”

 

“We demand a full and immediate reversal by the Biden Administration on its approach to this situation,” said Efrén Olivares, deputy legal director of the SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project. “Without one, and without holding federal officers accountable for abusing Haitian immigrants and asylum seekers, the U.S. will abdicate any remaining hopes of retaining moral legitimacy  on human rights issues. At this point, the U.S. is not only flouting its legal obligations to asylum seekers but also perpetuating anti-immigrant and anti-Black racism.”

 

“Seeking asylum is a fundamental human and legal right. Yet, thousands of Haitians who survived devastating natural disasters and political violence are being dehumanized, denied due process, and violently and forcibly returned to the very conditions they fled,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “This is legally and morally unacceptable. President Biden was elected on a campaign promise to undo the harm of four years under the Trump administration, which decimated the systems set up to protect people seeking safety. Instead of striving to keep that promise, the Biden administration has instead doubled down on a failed and inhumane strategy of deterrence and exacerbated the harm to vulnerable communities. We urge the Biden administration to immediately stop all deportations to Haiti and end all policies that deprive people of their rights at the border. The administration must chart a different course to welcome those seeking safety with dignity and humanity.” 

“Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is deeply concerned about the U.S. decision to ramp up deportation of Haitian migrants, particularly after the courts deemed Title 42 illegal, said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director of JRS/USA. Disturbing images of CBP officers committing terrible acts of violence against Haitian migrants only highlight the abuse some defenseless migrants face in the process of deportation. The U.S. must offer protection to those seeking safety at our border and work towards rebuilding the U.S. asylum system. The Biden Administration needs to stop deporting refugees based on a Trump-era policy that has no scientific basis and only places migrants and refugees in harm’s way.”

“We stand in solidarity with our partners in condemning the horrific treatment of Haitian asylum seekers and calling out the long history of discrimination against Black migrants,” said Carmen Maria Rey, U.S. Legal Services Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). “The Biden administration must be held accountable for continuing, and in some cases, expanding, the hateful policies of the previous administration. Seeking asylum is legal. Brutally denying migrants their human rights is not. The Biden administration must immediately end Title 42 expulsions and suspend deportations to Haiti.”

“Yesterday 45 children were reportedly deported to Haiti. 45 children. What about the dangers of return in the midst of political turmoil, an earthquake disaster, hunger and a Covid-strained medical system? Are returnees even tested, or are we exporting Covid? There are 4 flights scheduled to Port-au-Prince today. How many of those deported are families, mothers, babies?” said Thomas Cartwright, Leadership Team at Witness at the Border. “The images of CBP on horseback running down migrants delivering food to the hungry are disgusting and disturbing. We need to stop expelling migrants back to danger. And we need to stop pretending that Title 42 is about public health; it’s merely another tool to say, ‘Don’t come.’ Let them in!”

 

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Join the movement and sign our pledge to #WelcomeWithDignity.  

The #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign is composed of more than 85 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

Congress Must Continue to Fight for Citizenship

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2021

CONTACT: press@welcomewithdignity.org 

 

Congress Must Continue to Fight for Citizenship

 

Washington Yesterday, the Senate Parliamentarian ruled against including a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, farmworkers and essential workers, and TPS holders in the budget reconciliation process. Legalization for our neighbors has broad bipartisan support and is a moral imperative. The Senate Parliamentarian’s ruling applies only to the budget reconciliation approach — there are many pathways to legalization available. 

 

“Leaders in Congress need to continue to fight for a pathway to citizenship for our families, friends, neighbors, and communities through the budget reconciliation process,” said Melina Roche, #WelcomeWithDignity campaign manager. “The Parliamentarian’s ruling will not dishearten us. Rather, #WelcomeWithDignity will continue to urge Congress to deliver safety to the millions of people whose home is here in a way that upholds our values as a nation of immigrants.”  

 

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Join the movement and sign our pledge to #WelcomeWithDignity.  

The #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign is composed of more than 85 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

#WelcomeWithDignity: Stop Returning Haitians to Danger

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 17, 2021

CONTACT: press@welcomewithdignity.org 

 

#WelcomeWithDignity: Stop Returning Haitians to Danger

 

Washington, D.C. This week the Biden administration resumed removal flights to Haiti, just one month after a catastrophic 7.2 magnitude earthquake exacerbated the humanitarian crisis gripping the country. Prior to the earthquake, political unrest and rampant human rights abuses had made it impossible for Haitians to safely return to their country, which the administration recognized by designating Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in May. To send Haitians back now should be unthinkable.

 

Yet the Biden administration seems determined to respond to Haitians seeking safety with cruelty. The administration has indicated it plans to ramp up Title 42 expulsions of desperate Haitians requesting protection at the southern border, in violation of its own laws. The U.S. Coast Guard is intercepting and repatriating those fleeing Haiti by sea, echoing a shameful chapter in our country’s long history of mistreating Haitian refugees.

 

The #WelcomeWithDignity campaign urges the Biden administration to immediately halt all deportation and expulsion flights to Haiti, and stop punishing Haitians for seeking protection. It is past time for the administration to restore a safe and fair asylum process for Haitians and all others seeking refuge in the United States.

 

What we are seeing is the continuous exclusion of the rights of Haitians to seek asylum” said Guerline Jozef, co-founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance. “For too long, U.S. immigration policies have been to bar Haitians from seeking asylum. From Guantanamo Bay to the heightened use of detention centers in the 1970s, and the metering policy, it is disappointing to see that this Administration chose to continue with this same narrative. At this time, we also stand with our brothers and sisters seeking safety in Del Rio, where it is believed that most will be deported. All flights must be stopped, and the Administration must be held accountable for their actions.”

 

“It is unconscionable that the Biden administration has doubled down on policies that put Haitian families seeking safety back into harm’s way,” said Melina Roche, #WelcomewithDignity Campaign Manager. “President Biden is not only breaking his promise to Haiti to be a “friend,” but he is also breaking his promise to Americans to make the U.S. immigration system more humane. The Biden administration must ensure Haitians, and everyone seeking safety, have access to protections, and it must stop implementing deterrence-based policies, such as deportation flights and repatriation efforts to Haiti.” 

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Join the movement and sign our pledge to #WelcomeWithDignity.  

The #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign is composed of more than 85 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

Federal Court Blocks Expulsions of Families Seeking Safety

Washington, D.C. — Today a federal court blocked Title 42 expulsions of families seeking safety, issuing a preliminary injunction in Huisha-Huisha v. Mayorkas. Under the Title 42 policy the U.S. government has turned thousands of families away at the border, returning them to the very violence they have fled or stranding them in some of the most dangerous parts of Mexico, where human rights investigators have documented rampant violence against migrants. The court’s decision today finds Title 42 to be in violation of U.S. law and recognizes the grave harm the policy has caused families and children escaping persecution.

Members of the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign, which include organizations serving people expelled under Title 42 and litigators in the Huisha-Huisha case, responded:

“The court got it right today,” said Neela Chakravartula, Managing Attorney at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) and co-counsel in the Huisha-Huisha case. “The Title 42 policy is as illegal as it is dangerous. The Biden administration’s decision to continue expulsions – over objections from public health experts and human rights advocates – has fueled violence and chaos at the border and endangered thousands of vulnerable families escaping persecution. It is long past time for this inhumanity to end.”

“This ruling supports what immigration advocates and medical experts have argued since the beginning: Title 42’s only purpose is to keep families and children from seeking asylum in the U.S. and inflict suffering ,” said Paola Luisi, Director of Families Belong Together. “It’s long past time to reckon with the harm done by past administrations and ensure our government centers the dignity and humanity of people seeking safety here. The Biden administration must end Title 42 for all and restore the asylum process for people seeking safety.”

“Today’s decision confirms what we’ve been saying all along – expulsions under Title 42 are xenophobic and unlawful and must be stopped,” said Ursela Ojeda, policy advisor for the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission. “Although the court’s injunction only applies to asylum-seeking families, expulsions of single adults under Title 42 are also illegal and must immediately end. We call on the Biden administration to comply with the preliminary injunction and not to appeal the order. It is well past time for this administration to change course by ending expulsions and other cruel, unnecessary, and unlawful deterrence based policies and start living up to its promise of building a more humane and orderly immigration system that welcomes with dignity.”

“In the wake of this decision, the Biden administration must choose to uphold the refugee laws enacted by Congress rather than permanently stain the President’s legacy by continuing to perpetuate and escalate this illegal and inhumane Trump policy.” said Eleanor Acer, senior director for refugee protection at Human Rights First. “The Biden administration must restart asylum processing, including at ports of entry, stop sending families and adults to suffer terrible violence, and permanently end this horrific policy designed by the Trump administration to punish refugees for seeking safety in the United States.”

“Today’s decision is a welcome step to begin restoring asylum in the U.S. for families seeking refuge,” said Meredith Owen, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Church World Service. “However, the Biden administration must immediately end all Title 42 expulsions and terminate the immoral Trump policy. It is unconscionable that the administration has yet to end this inhumane policy despite leading public health experts repeatedly denying any public health rationale. We are deeply troubled by the disproportionate impact this policy has on Black migrants seeking safety, most evident by the deportation flights to Haiti today. It is long past time for this administration to honor its promises to restore the asylum program and welcome all people with dignity.”

“While we are ecstatic that the federal court has recognized the unlawfulness of using Title 42 health considerations to justify the expulsion of asylum seeking families and unaccompanied children, considering there is no medically-sound rationale for this policy, we are calling on the Biden Administration to immediately end this policy for all of those seeking safety in the United States, including adult women and men,” said Sara Ramey, Executive Director of the Migrant Center for Human Rights.

“This is an important step forward in restoring the protections that asylum-seeking families undeniably have a right to pursue,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. “Our nation’s immigration policy must align with our values. Expelling families without due process is the antithesis of America’s highest ideals. We are grateful for a just ruling, and we urge the Biden administration to rescind in full this vestige of its predecessor.”

“We welcome the court ruling dismissing the misuse of Title 42 at the border for families. But we call on the President to see the dignity in all human beings and rescind the use of Title 42 for everyone seeking asylum at our southern border,” said Ronnate Asirwatham, Director, Government Relations, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice.

“Through the illegal Title 42 policy, the U.S. government continues to subject countless asylum seekers to ongoing violence and danger while they are displaced at the U.S.-Mexico border,” said Chelsea Sachau, Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project. “The Florence Project welcomes the news that a federal court has recognized that Title 42 violates the law by expelling asylum-seeking families at the border without giving them any meaningful opportunity to be considered for protection. The illegality of this program has been apparent from Day 1 and public health officials, advocates, and immigrants have been calling for the full repeal of Title 42 for over eighteen months. This decision, while a critical step in the right direction, still falls short of eliminating this illegal program in its entirety. We continue to call on the administration to end Title 42 for every person seeking safety in the United States at once and urge the administration to immediately restart full asylum processing across the border.”

“Under the Title 42 expulsions a lot of Indigenous people — from what is now known as Latin America — were forced back to the violence, injustices, and settler colonialism they fled in the first place,” said Dr. Jessica Hernandez (Maya Ch’orti/Binnizá-Zapotec), Climate Justice Policy Strategist for International Mayan League. “The United States government was trying to justify their harmful acts against Indigenous peoples under the pretense that it was for public health concerns. To use public health as a tool to force Indigenous peoples to face these hardship conditions demonstrates the deep genocidal acts the United States continues to implement against Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Many Indigenous migrants lose their Indigeneity within the immigration discourse because they are labeled as Latinx or Hispanic. These forced identity labels need to stop so that Indigenous rights can be highlighted and uplifted within immigration policies. As an Indigenous-led organization, we are glad the federal court blocked the U.S. government continuing to expel Indigenous peoples and other refugees under Title 42. They saved many Indigenous lives from Abya Yala, including those of our displaced Mayan relatives currently withheld at detention centers.”

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA welcomes the federal court’s order barring the Biden Administration from implementing Title 42, a harmful and destructive policy,” said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. “In light of this decision, the Biden Administration must change course and reinstate a fair and humane asylum process at the US southern border.”

“Once again, a federal court has ruled that Title 42 expulsions have no lawful basis,” said Azadeh Erfani, Senior Policy Analyst at the National Immigrant Justice Center. “White supremacy, and not public health, fueled the creation of these expulsions under Trump. We urge the Biden administration to seize on this ruling to finally do the right thing: end this discriminatory and unlawful policy that returns asylum seekers to harm for everyone, including adults.”

“A federal court has ruled that Title 42 is illegal with regard to families. Title 42 means expelling human beings to danger and harm in Mexico and other countries that persons have fled for their safety. Justice has prevailed for vulnerable human beings vying to access the U.S. asylum process. Policies that subject people to harm have no place in the U.S. immigration system even during a pandemic,” said Margaret Cargioli Managing Attorney at Immigrant Defenders Law Center.

“Judge Sullivan’s decision blocking the administration’s unlawful use of Title 42 to expel families is a long overdue step, but more must be done to end this cruel policy,” said Avideh Moussavian, director of federal advocacy for the National Immigration Law Center. “The previous administration weaponized Title 42 and the Biden administration has inexplicably continued to use it for the past eight months. It has disproportionately affected Black and LGBTQ asylum-seekers and puts everyone expelled under it at risk of kidnapping, trafficking, torture, and even death. The Biden administration must immediately rescind Title 42 for all people, once and for all, as part of its efforts to create a fair and humane asylum system that centers the dignity and humanity of people coming here seeking safety.”

“La Raza Centro Legal San Francisco stands with asylum seekers in celebrating the end of unjust Title 42 expulsion policies at our nation’s border,” said Amanda Alvarado Ford, Esq., Executive Director at La Raza Centro Legal San Francisco. “Human beings have a right to live free from harm and to escape those who persecute them. We will continue standing with immigrants and will advocate, one family at a time, for a more equitable society we can envision and will one day achieve.”

“As a network of Latin American immigrant-led organizations, we applaud the decision to stop the use of Title 42 as the basis to immediately return migrants seeking humanitarian protection at our borders. We must also get rid of the idea that migrants and migration are a negative factor for the U.S. and their countries of origin. They are a blessing. Our laws must be changed to reflect how invaluable they are,” said Oscar Chacon, executive director of Alianza Americas.

“We welcome that the federal court acknowledges the unique harm that Title 42 inflicts on asylum seeking families and unaccompanied children,” said Jane Bentrott, counsel at Justice Action Center. “However, Title 42 is unlawful in every respect, has been condemned by epidemiologists and public health experts to have no scientific standing, and should not be applied to anyone. Indeed, the court also found that ‘the Title 42 Process is likely unlawful’ in its entirety.  The Biden Administration must end Title 42 to ensure that the U.S. complies with international and domestic legal and moral standards.”

“We are thrilled by today’s news that a federal court found the use of Title 42 unlawful. This decision is long overdue. Under the guise of protecting public health, Title 42 has placed children and families in danger and contributed to devastating family separations” said Santiago Mueckay, Manager of Federal Government Relations at Save the Children. “While Title 42 must be rescinded in full, today’s decision is an important and encouraging step in the right direction.”

“Let’s face it, Title 42 expulsions represent the dregs of government’s acrimony toward migrants, and should have no place in the Biden Administration,” said Matt Nelson, Executive Director, Presente.org. “True dignity means that our government does not traffic in white supremacy and exclusion. Compassion, not callousness, must guide our treatment of those seeking refuge and protection.”

“The district judge in this case recognized what we’ve long known: Title 42 does not give the government the authority to flout the laws and deny families the right to seek asylum,” said Dylan Corbett, Executive Director of the Hope Border Institute. “It’s time for the Biden administration to restore protections for all asylum seekers. Our border community is ready to welcome them with open arms.”

“Title 42 was based on a myth—that asylum seekers pose a public health risk that is somehow different from the risks posed by other people moving from place to place,” said Gladis Molina Alt, Executive Director, Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. “Public health experts debunked this myth last year. And yet two administrations have relied on the policy despite the plain language of U.S. and international law, which require us to offer fair process to people seeking protection from persecution. The policy has endangered the lives of children and families who were sent back to traffickers and persecutors, or left stranded in Mexico. Judge Sullivan’s decision orders an end to this practice as it applies to families, but we must continue to push for an end to Title 42 for all migrants seeking protection at the border. We have a long way to go in creating a humane, dignified process for migrants seeking protection.”

 

Biden Administration fails to outline blueprint for ending Remain in Mexico

Washington, D.C. — Late in the evening on Wednesday, September 15, the Biden administration submitted the first monthly status report on steps they have taken to fulfill the district court’s order to enforce and implement the “Remain in Mexico” policy “in good faith.”  The #WelcomeWithDignity campaign issued the following statement in light of the Biden administration’s continued failure to publicly commit to issuing a new memo aimed at terminating the program for good.

“There is no other just, humane, or moral step forward for the Biden administration to take other than issuing a new memo that will end Remain in Mexico, as the President pledged on the campaign trail. To subject fellow human beings to additional pain, suffering, and trauma while fleeing violence is unconscionable,” said Justice Action Center founder and director Karen Tumlin. “If decisive action is not taken to wind down MPP, we will hold the Biden administration accountable for cowing to partisan pressure and taking steps to ultimately uphold this inhumane policy, rather than to dismantle it for good. The immigrant rights movement remains committed to building a dignified and just future for all.”

“MPP was a human rights catastrophe. Restarting it in any form or fashion would be a human rights catastrophe,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice. “The Biden administration should follow through on their promise to shut down MPP by submitting a new memo detailing the rationale for shutting it down, and it should resist efforts by Trump judges and Trumpian Republicans to force them to do what the American people rejected in 2020.”

“The xenophobic ‘Remain in Mexico’ program is fundamentally incompatible with the fair and humane asylum system that President Biden promised to build,” said Noah Gottschalk, Oxfam America’s Global Policy Lead. “This policy left tens of thousands of people fleeing for their lives in precarious and dangerous situations that have caused further harm. The administration was right to terminate the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program in the first place, and needs to show moral and legal leadership by finally putting an end to it once and for all.”

“By failing to take immediate, concrete steps to terminate the Remain in Mexico policy, the administration has not lived up to President Biden’s promise to restore full access to asylum and build a 21st immigration system that values our collective humanity and dignity,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “The Remain in Mexico policy was a centerpiece of Donald Trump’s cruel, anti-immigrant agenda and put thousands of people seeking safety in grave danger. Choosing any course short of terminating this unlawful policy would be a capitulation to an emerging conservative political playbook being used to imperil President Biden’s entire progressive agenda. This is a key moment for President Biden to lead with conviction, issue a new termination memo, and restart asylum processing at the southern border. There is no room for Remain in Mexico – or any policy like it – in a country that strives to be a beacon of hope for those seeking safety and freedom.”

“There is no such thing as a more humane version of a program that has directly led to such extreme pain and suffering. The decision to restart the Remain in Mexico policy will directly lead to the loss of human lives. That is what the Biden administration is choosing. Instead of doing what is right, they are taking the path of least resistance at the expense of some of the most vulnerable human beings amongst us,” said Lindsay Toczylowski, executive director and co-founder, Immigrants Defenders Law Center.

“If the Biden administration is still serious about following through on its campaign promise to end the disastrous Remain in Mexico Program, it should commit to re-terminating the program with a fuller explanation, the obvious pathway laid down by the Supreme Court,” said Jonathan Blazer, Director of Border Strategies at the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Remain in Mexico was nothing short of disastrous, and the Biden administration promised to end it,” said Chelsea Sachau, Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project. “The administration has a moral and legal obligation to recognize the rights of asylum seekers by welcoming them to the U.S. and by building back a fair, equitable, and swift asylum process – MPP tent courts are the antithesis of due process. The administration could end the policy once and for all by issuing a new termination memorandum; instead, it cowers behind the courts as a cover to return to inhumane, unlawful, and downright dangerous anti-immigrant policies.”

Jewish Activists for Immigration Justice of Western Massachusetts (JAIJ) unequivocally condemns the failure of President Biden to keep his campaign promise to end the despicable Trump-era MPP protocol that has meant so much cruelty, heartache, and risk to those who fled for their lives, leaving everything they had, only to be trapped in Mexico, at risk of kidnapping and worse. In the few weeks since the Supreme Court’s ruling, Administration lawyers have had ample time to refresh their arguments, to cite law and precedent and demonstrate the damage this policy designed to inflict maximum cruelty and suffering, has created. It is immoral to embrace this policy simply because it’s more convenient than fighting it. As Jews, members of JAIJ remember that our own people were persecuted just a few generations back–and that the US sealed its borders to thousands of Jews attempting to escape that terror, many of whom perished. After the Holocaust, the Jewish community came together to say “Never Again!” We broaden this to say “Never Again Para Nadie”–never again should ANYONE be denied access to safety.

“The Biden administration rightfully ended the illegal and inhumane Remain in Mexico program on the President’s first day in office, and recent court orders should not preclude the administration from issuing a new memo to end the program,” said Carmen Maria Rey, U.S. Legal Services Director at the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). “The reinstatement of a program that put thousands of migrants in harm’s way cannot be allowed to stand in an administration that campaigned on the promise of welcoming migrants and respecting their human rights.”

“The decades-long, bipartisan U.S. immigration strategy of ‘deterrence by cruelty’ — which has brought us such abominations as border walls, family separations, criminalization of people in need, and the Migrant ‘Protection” Protocols — has never made our nation more secure,” said Sarah Towle, Leadership Team of Witness at the Border. “Deterrence by cruelty has emboldened organized crime on both sides of the border; corrupted our border patrols and communities; diverted tax-payer dollars that might have aided community infrastructure and benefited local economies to abusive detention and deportation practices. It has trapped the US in an ever-increasing web of destruction that has ruined untold numbers of lives. If the Biden administration truly wishes to Build Back Better, to restore the soul of our nation, let it begin with pushing back hard against the resumption of the Migrant ‘Protection’ Protocols, which never protected anyone at all.”

“MPP was a human rights and due process disaster and a stain on the moral fabric of this country,” said Kate Jastram, Policy and Advocacy Director at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS). “It trapped thousands of families and children in perilous conditions, fueling violence and chaos at the border. Ending the policy was a day one promise by President Biden, and this litigation does not preclude the administration from doing everything in its power to fulfill that promise. The administration has had ample time to develop a new strategy to end MPP and issue a new termination memo, as our organizations have repeatedly implored it to do.”

“MPP was a fundamentally flawed due process and human rights disaster that intentionally and cruelly subjected thousands of people to harm by forcibly returning them to wait in dangerous conditions in Mexico. There is no amount of logistical planning or preparation that can ‘safely operationalize’ MPP or make it humane or rights-respecting. The Biden administration was right to end MPP on its first day in office and must do so again by immediately issuing a new memo to terminate MPP once and for all,” said Ursela Ojeda, policy advisor for the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission.

“The Biden Administration should be making good faith efforts to defend justice and humanity for all, not taking our country back to the anti-immigrant days of Trump policy,” said Stephen Manning, Executive Director of Innovation Law Lab. “The Remain in Mexico program must be ended once and for all, and a safe and humane asylum system must be established.”

“We are very disappointed that the Biden administration is considering re-implementing the Remain in Mexico Policy, which we know to be extremely detrimental to asylum-seeking families and children.” said Santiago Mueckay, Manager of Federal Government Relations at Save the Children. “We urge the administration to quickly issue a new memo to officially end this harmful policy. The reinstatement of MPP would not only subject children and families to unnecessary violence and abuse in Mexico, but it would also be a worrisome step backward in our fight for a more humane and just asylum-system. Seeking asylum is not a crime. As a country, we must do better to protect children and families seeking refuge within our borders.”

“The Migrant Protection Protocols forced more than 70,000 migrants to wait in deadly conditions while trying to apply for immigration status and asylum in the United States. Today’s status report from the Biden administration does nothing to end this unlawful and deadly program and fails to consider the United States’ obligation to help those at our borders seeking safety,” said National Immigrant Justice Center Senior Policy Analyst, Azadeh Erfani. “The National Immigrant Justice Center witnessed firsthand the atrocities of this program under the Trump administration; there is no version of MPP that would not resurrect the horrors of this Trump program. NIJC calls on the Biden administration to uphold its promise to end MPP by issuing a new termination memo based on the extensive record of atrocities it has produced and establish an asylum system based not on punishment but on protection.”

“Today’s status report is deeply disappointing and will continue to put lives in jeopardy and threaten the well-being of countless people who are at risk of unnecessary harm,” said Meredith Owen, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Church World Service. “The administration should immediately issue a new memo terminating the unlawful and immoral ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy. Beyond that, living out our moral leadership requires an end to all anti-asylum policies, such as unlawful ‘Title 42’ expulsions. We must envision a system that increases equity, particularly for Black asylum seekers and migrants, and upholds the dignity of all people.”

Welcome With Dignity Statement on Asylum Provisions in the Reconciliation Package

Washington, DC― The #WelcomeWithDignity campaign supports the inclusion of a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS and DED recipients, farmworkers, and other essential workers in the Fiscal Year 2022 reconciliation package without harmful tradeoffs targeting border communities and people seeking asylum. We urge Congress to stand firm against any amendments that would prolong immigration detention, roll back protections for unaccompanied migrant children, criminalize immigration, or suggest that immigrants are responsible for the spread of COVID-19. The economic benefits of extending citizenship to millions are enormous. With the support of the White House and the majority of the American public, Congress has the opportunity to pass clean immigration legislation that will transform lives and our nation’s economic recovery. 

Melina Roche, Campaign Manager for the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign said: 

“For decades, millions of people contributing to and building our communities have waited for Congress to finally take action and deliver on their promise of safety and welcome. #WelcomeWithDignity is confident that Congress will pass legislation that puts millions on a pathway to citizenship without limiting people’s right to seek asylum, building physical or technological walls at the border, or forcing people into detention.” 

The #WelcomeWithDignity campaign brings together more than 80 organizations, activists, asylum-seekers, advocates, and our community to transform how the United States receives and protects people forced to flee their homes to ensure they are treated humanely and fairly. To build a more just and truly humanitarian system, we must reject the xenophobia and racism that motivated dangerous policies in the past. 

Mexican Authorities’ Abuse of Haitian Asylum Seekers Must Stop; U.S. Must Welcome Haitians Seeking Safety

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 3, 2021

CONTACT: Bilal Askaryar | press@welcomewithdignity.org 

 

Mexican Authorities’ Abuse of Haitian Asylum Seekers Must Stop; U.S. Must Welcome Haitians Seeking Safety

 

Washington Today, the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign demanded accountability from the Mexican government after Mexican agents were recorded multiple times beating and harassing Haitian families and others escaping persecution. Intimidation or abuse of people seeking safety, civil society groups serving migrants, and journalists documenting the government’s treatment of them, goes against international human rights law and basic decency. The campaign also called on the United States government to immediately halt any deportation flights to Haiti in light of the humanitarian crisis that has been compounded by the August 14th earthquake and subsequent tropical storms. 

 

Haitian people fleeing these conditions face brutalization and dehumanization at the hands of the asylum systems in both the U.S. and Mexico because of anti-black racism. 

 

“Mexico should not be acting as the United States’ border wall. The excessive show of force from Mexican security forces towards families fleeing persecution in Haiti and other countries is shameful. Both Mexico and the United States should be offering people the right to seek asylum and living up to their commitment to protect refugee rights, not responding with harsh militarization. We call on Mexico and the United States to stop sending people back to harm and instead to welcome refugees with dignity and humanity,” states LAWG co-director, Daniella Burgi-Palomino.

 

“Our leaders are turning their backs on Haitians when they need us most,” said Felipe Navarro-Lux, Manager of Regional Initiatives at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS). “The Mexican authorities’ violent tactics, and the Biden administration’s illegal expulsion policy, endanger Haitians seeking safety and violate their human rights. These abuses are emblematic of the anti-Black racism that permeates both countries’ immigration systems, and belie hollow statements of support made by the Biden and López Obrador administrations following the August 14 earthquake. This is the time when the United States and Mexico must show they stand in solidarity with Haiti by leaving behind inhumane strategies of deterrence and treating Haitian migrants with dignity and respect.”

 

“US and Mexican authorities are complicit in the persistent exclusion, mistreatment and abuse of Haitian migrants,” said Camilo Perez-Bustillo, Leadership Table, Witness at the Border. “These recurrent, serious human rights violations targeting Haitians have been especially notable recently amid U.S encouragement of the militarization of efforts to repress and contain migrant flows, including migrant caravans, on Mexican territory through unconscionable instances of brutality. The continued, combined use of Title 42, unjust conditions of deportation and detention, and reactivation of MPP further exacerbate these patterns, and must cease. The Haitian people and Haitian migrants are entitled to our hospitality and solidarity, now more than ever, amid a deepening humanitarian and political crisis, which cries out to all of us for an effective international response.”



“No one should suffer the harm that Haitians have suffered merely for exercising their right to seek asylum,” said Azadeh Erfani, Senior Policy Analyst at the National Immigrant Justice Center.  “It is past time for the U.S. to stop using Mexico as its proxy border control. These unlawful practices sanction the use of brutal and abusive repression of migrants and asylum seekers in order to halt their arrival to the U.S. In their collusion, the U.S. and Mexico have shown unacceptable disdain for human rights and international law. We call on the U.S. to stop exporting the assault on the right to asylum across borders, and on Mexico to end its complicity and ruthless repression.”

 

“The way that the Mexican government is treating Haitian and Central American migrants and refugees who are trying to leave Chiapas is illegal and inhuman,” said Gretchen Kuhner, Director of the Institute for Women in Migration (IMUMI), Mexico City.  “These groups are comprised of families in search of refuge and protection – shelter, food, employment and dignified conditions for their children – in other parts of Mexico.    Many of them have pending asylum applications and have been stranded in Tapachula (near the Mexico-Guatemala border) for months or even years.   Images of people being beaten by migration agents and National Guard officers are symbolic of the racist, cruel and repressive deterrence and containment policies being implemented in the region, in which the U.S. and Mexico are closely, although asymmetrically, aligned.   Both governments know that this situation can improve by re-opening the asylum system in the U.S. and strengthening the asylum system in Mexico.”    

 

“We strongly condemn these disgusting and outrageous acts of violence and aggression by Mexican officials against Haitian and Central American families and individuals seeking protection. We call on the Mexican government to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for these racist and xenophobic attacks, and to publicly commit to treat all migrants and people seeking protection humanely and to respect their rights and dignity,” said Savitri Arvey, policy advisor for the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission. “We also renew our call on the U.S. government to halt expulsions and deportations of Haitians, especially amid a natural disaster and political turmoil in Haiti, and to stop pushing for deterrence-based approaches in negotiations with regional partners. Both the US and regional governments should reverse course and welcome with dignity.”



“It’s heartbreaking and painful to see of Mexico’s security forces violently attacking Haitians families and children — and infuriating to know this act of anti-Black racism was at some level the result of pressure the U.S. government has placed on Mexico,” said Paola Luisi, Director of Families Belong Together. “Mexico’s militarized crackdown to ‘stop all migration’ is an affront to the dignity and human rights of vulnerable refugees fleeing violence and poverty. Tragically, refugees continue to be political pawns in a game between Mexico and the United States. We must end this shameful violence and treat Haitians and all refugees with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

“​​The violent and discriminatory practices carried out by Mexican immigration agents and the National Guard against Haitians have made a mockery of the Mexican government’s purported role as a human rights defender. The Mexican government must immediately cease these practices that violate human rights, guarantee the rights of all migrants and refugees, and stop serving as an extension of the United States’ border wall,” said Alejandra Macías Delgadillo, Executive Director of Asylum Access México. 

 

“It is unacceptable that Haitians have suffered such immense harm – whether by the U.S. or Mexican governments – while attempting to exercise their legal right to seek asylum,” said Robyn Barnard, Senior Advocacy Counsel, Refugee Protection, at Human Rights First. “From acts of brutality against Haitians by Mexican officials, to the Biden administration’s continued use of Title 42 that disproportionately impacts Haitian asylum seekers, anti-Black racism continues to drive both U.S. immigration policy and that of our closest partners – violating the human rights of Haitians and other Black refugees. Human Rights First strongly condemns the horrific acts of violence by Mexican officials against Haitians seeking safety, and urges the Biden administration to end Title 42, cease relying on Mexico as proxy border control, and welcome, with dignity, Haitian refugees to safety in the U.S.”

 

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Join the movement and sign our pledge to #WelcomeWithDignity here.  

The #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign is composed of more than 85 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

#WelcomeWithDignity Applauds Decision in Al Otro Lado v. Mayorkas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 3, 2021

CONTACT: Bilal Askaryar | press@welcomewithdignity.org 

 

#WelcomeWithDignity Applauds Decision in Al Otro Lado v. Mayorkas

 

Washington Today, the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign welcomed the recent decision by a California judge in Al Otro Lado v. Mayorkas requiring DHS to uphold the right to seek asylum in the United States. Metering — or the practice of turning back asylum seekers and forcing them to wait to seek protection has always been unconstitutional, and the decision upholds what we knew to be true. While the campaign applauds the decision, many other policies such as MPP and the misuse of public health measures such as Title 42 must also be addressed to truly uphold asylum rights. 

 

“U.S. immigration policy has long discriminated against Haitians, from the U.S. Coast Guard’s interdiction of boats of asylum seekers who fled political persecutions, to imprisoning Haitian asylum seekers in Guantanamo Bay, to the creation of immigration prisons in 1981 to incarcerate Haitians who arrived on U.S. soil,” said Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance. “The metering policy started in 2016 to deny Haitians access to asylum in the United States. Only after testing these policies on Haitians, and then other Black immigrants, did the United States expand them to include all migrants. We are grateful that justice has prevailed and that the metering policy has been struck down. We congratulate Al Otro Lado, who has been fighting this policy since its implementation in 2016, as well as the legal teams at Southern Poverty Law Center, Center for Constitutional Rights, American Immigration Council, and Mayer Brown LLP.  We urge the Biden Administration to restore the right to seek asylum by ending Title 42 and welcome people with dignity”

 

“Jesuit Refugee Service/USA welcomes a recent decision by a federal judge in California that the U.S. government practice of ‘metering,’ or denying migrants a chance to apply for asylum on the Mexican border until there is capacity to process claims, is unconstitutional,” said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director. “As efforts to weaken the U.S. asylum system, including reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols and enforcement of Title 42 continue, this good news reinforces that the U.S. has laws and systems in place for those seeking protection from violence and other threats through the asylum system and that those legal protections should be enforced.”

 

“Yesterday’s decision affirms that processing asylum seekers at ports of entry is not something that DHS can push off or deprioritize,” said Yael Schacher, Senior U.S. Advocate at Refugees International. “Too many asylum seekers have suffered because of policies that do just that. It’s time for the Biden administration to end pushbacks, returns, and expulsions and to treat all those seeking protection at our borders with the dignity they deserve.”

 

“This ruling affirms what we know to be true: People fleeing persecution have a legal right to seek asylum at our border and to pursue their claims in safety,” said Kate Jastram, Policy and Advocacy Director at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS). “Any policy that deprives individuals of that right flies in the face of due process and our legal obligations to refugees. That includes ‘metering’ practices, expulsions under Title 42, and the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols. The Biden administration must summon the moral courage to reject these dangerous and illegal policies once and for all.”

 

“Amnesty International has long known that metering is a dangerous policy that strips people seeking safety of their human right to seek asylum – particularly for Black immigrants,” said Amy Fischer, Americas Advocacy Director at Amnesty International USA. “Metering began in 2016 as a direct response to Haitians seeking asylum at the southern border that was grounded in anti-Black racism and was a precursor to the anti-asylum policies we see today such as Title 42 and Remain in Mexico. Amnesty International USA celebrates with our colleagues at Al Otro Lado, and calls upon the Biden Administration to swiftly uphold the right to seek asylum by ending Title 42 expulsions, Remain in Mexico, metering, and any other policy that hinders the right to seek asylum.”

 

“When more people come to the border asking for protection, the American people have to rise to the occasion,” said Adam Isacson, Director for Defense Oversight at the Washington Office on Latin America. “U.S. law plainly states that people who fear to return to their countries are entitled to due process. That’s how a humane, well-managed border is supposed to work. Forcing people to wait for weeks, months, or longer in dangerous Mexican border cities violates that due process. That this litigation succeeded is fantastic news for human rights at the border. Congratulations to the dedicated, first-rate legal team of Al Otro Lado and partner organizations. WOLA is proud to be among the groups that submitted declarations in support.”

 

“This decision is a victory for thousands of children and families who were turned away when they came to our doorstep desperate for safety,” said Paola Luisi, Director of Families Belong Together. “We applaud this step and the arduous work of advocates like Al Otro Lado, SPLC, and other advocates in fighting for justice and dignity in our asylum system.”

 

“CWS and member communions have long called for the end of the administration’s anti-asylum policies that close our doors on welcome. We applaud the court decision finding that the U.S. government’s turnbacks of asylum seekers arriving at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border was unlawful,” Added Rev. Noel Andersen, CWS Director of Grassroots Organizing, “ We have long known that turning our backs on people fleeing violence and persecution is immoral and counter to our legal obligations. As a faith-based organization, we understand that we have a moral obligation to love our neighbors and ensure refuge for those seeking safety.”

 

“This ruling affirms that seeking asylum is, undeniably, a legal and human right and that the US government has violated the rights of asylum seekers by not processing them at ports of entry,” said Robyn Barnard, Senior Advocacy Counsel, Refugee Protection, at Human Rights First. “Far too many people seeking safety at America’s doorstep have been turned back to danger by the U.S. government’s cruel and illegal practice of ‘metering’ that started under the Obama administration, as well as by policies like Title 42 and the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols. In the face of this ruling, the Biden administration must reject these unlawful policies, and fulfill their legal and moral obligation to restart asylum at ports of entry.”

 

“We applaud the brave Black, Brown, and Indigenous asylum seekers and their advocates for fighting against the unlawful and discriminatory metering policy. This ruling lays bare a principle already enshrined in domestic and international law: there is no justification for turning away asylum seekers at the border,” said Azadeh Erfani, Senior Policy Analyst at the National Immigrant Justice Center. “However, past administrations have pushed back tens of thousands of people seeking protection, under fabricated premises of capacity. We call on the Biden administration to facilitate the return of all individuals subjected to metering and build on this momentum to end other policies and practices that externalize asylum rights—including by terminating the unlawful Migrant Protection Protocols or ‘Remain-in-Mexico’ program and the use of summary expulsions under specious public health rationale.”

 

“Metering was an illegal and immoral policy,” said Andrew Geibel, Policy Counsel at HIAS. “It forced people to wait for months in danger and squalor before being allowed to apply to asylum. It led to the creation of at least one tent camp and port-specific lists where asylum seekers had to pay to be added to the queue. It also directly preceded harsher policies like ‘Remain in Mexico.’ We are pleased that the district court agrees that the program is unlawful, and we urge the administration to abandon current programs like Title 42 which deny people the right to seek asylum at the U.S. southern border.”

 

“Metering denied asylum-seeking families and individuals their right to seek protection and stranded them in squalid, dangerous conditions in Mexico for months or years, where they were vulnerable to kidnapping, sexual assault, and other violent attacks, said Ursela Ojeda, policy advisor for the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission. “We welcome yesterday’s decision as a long-overdue and important victory recognizing the unequivocal rights of individuals arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border to seek protection. The border must not be governed by illegal deterrence policies.  We urge the Biden administration not to appeal this decision and to immediately reopen ports of entry to those seeking protection and process individuals seeking asylum in accordance with the law.” 

 

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Join the movement and sign our pledge to #WelcomeWithDignity here.  

The #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign is composed of more than 85 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

 

Melina Roche, Asylum Advocate Joins #WelcomeWithDignity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 27, 2021

CONTACT: Bilal Askaryar | press@welcomewithdignity.org | 646-899-9722

 

Melina Roche, Asylum Advocate Joins #WelcomeWithDignity

 

Washington Today, #WelcomeWithDignity welcomed its new campaign manager, Melina Roche. Roche joins the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign with a wealth of expertise from her over six years of experience developing and managing advocacy campaigns at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where she regularly consulted with the organization’s nationwide members. Prior to her time at AILA, Roche was engaged in community outreach and development at the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. (LALDEF), a community-based organization that provides services to low-income immigrant families in New Jersey. Roche joins the campaign at a critical moment, when the need could not be more urgent for coordinated advocacy and organizing to ensure that the United States builds a system that welcomes with dignity.

 

“I am proud to join the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign at this critical time,” said Melina Roche, #WelcomeWithDignity campaign manager. “For too long, dangerous policies have been in place in our name to deter or scapegoat individuals, families, and children fleeing their homes. As someone who left Guatemala amid a civil war to seek safety, I know we are a country able to welcome with dignity. It is past time that our policies reflect our humanity. I stand ready to work with national and local partners to amplify the stories and voices of asylum seekers, refugees, and affected individuals to ensure that we create a more just and humane system.”

 

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Join the movement and sign our pledge to #WelcomeWithDignity here.  

The #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign is composed of more than 85 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

SCOTUS Got It Wrong, Biden Must Fight to End MPP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 25, 2021

CONTACT: Bilal Askaryar | press@welcomewithdignity.org | 646-899-9722

 

 

#WelcomeWithDignity: SCOTUS Got It Wrong, Biden Must Fight to End MPP

 

Washington — Last night the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision ordering the Biden administration to reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), a cruel and illegal Trump administration policy. Under MPP people seeking asylum were forcibly returned to Mexico to await their U.S. court dates in dangerous border cities. The policy was a humanitarian and due process disaster that exposed families, children, and adults to grave violence. The Biden administration suspended MPP on its first day in office, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas formally terminated the program in June. At this pivotal moment, the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign urges the Biden administration to uphold its promises and do everything in its power to fight for a permanent end to MPP.

 

“The Supreme Court’s decision is profoundly disappointing and heartbreaking. From its inception, MPP was and is an illegal policy that cruelly and needlessly placed people seeking protection directly in harm’s way. Its illegality was rightfully challenged in the courts, and the Biden administration was right to suspend MPP on its first day in office and to formally end the policy earlier this year,” said Ursela Ojeda, policy advisor with the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission. “Last night’s decision puts asylum-seeking families and children at immediate risk of needless cruelty and harm, including detention, family separation, and prolonged forced stays in Mexican border towns that expose migrants to cartels and other dangers.  We call on the Biden administration to immediately take all necessary steps to fully terminate MPP, and to do everything in its power to mitigate its harm, just as we call on the Mexican government to reject a resumption of MPP.

 

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling cannot be squared with the controlling law or the facts on the ground,” said Karen Musalo, Director of the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS). “When CGRS and our partners brought legal challenges against MPP, at every step the federal courts found the policy to be in blatant violation of our domestic and international legal obligations to people fleeing persecution. The lower court rulings in this case were rife with legal and factual errors, as we detailed in a brief filed at the high court earlier this week. The Biden administration was right to end MPP and it must do all that it can to discontinue a policy that has put asylum seekers in grave danger and made a mockery of our commitments to refugees.”

 

“The reinstatement of Migration Protection Protocols (MPP) is extremely disappointing and goes against our values as a nation of refuge that respects due process.” said Basma Alawee, Campaign Manager, We Are All America. “MPP adds another layer of complication and cruelty for children, families, and other migrants seeking asylum and safety. MPP forces them to remain in Mexico, where they are at risk of sexual assault, kidnappings and homocide due to their vulnerable status in the country. We call on the Biden administration to urgently pursue all means of putting an end to ‘Remain in Mexico’ policies and to protect the rights of those seeking asylum at our borders.”

 

“This policy was created to inflict suffering and is counter to our country’s values by sending pregnant women, children, and babies to sleep on the streets in dangerous cities. Children and families were given no choice but to live in tent camps without access to clean water, medical care or schools. Many people waiting in Mexico for their asylum cases have been kidnapped, raped and even killed as a direct result of this policy. They came to our doorstep with a belief in America — and our government sent them into danger,” said Paola Luisi, executive director of Families Belong Together. “We cannot accept any policy—even temporary—that separates families. We urge the Biden administration to do everything within their means to put an end to this cruel ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy once and for all.”

“The Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program was always illegal and born from racial animus and colonial interests. The U.S. is violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples from north to south and complicit in causing the forced migration in the first place. What about protocols supporting our right to stay home in our ancestral lands where we have lived since time immemorial? ” said Carolina Martin Ramos, Legal Director of Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim. “We are forced to flee our ancestral homelands against our will and seek asylum only because occupying settler colonial states and the U.S. support and protect the transnational extractive industries and business interests that criminalize, torture, and kill our peoples when we assert our inherent rights and rights under international human rights laws including, the Declaration on the Righst of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP). The U.S. has been complicit in the politics and business of genocide in Maya Territories for decades and backed dictators and military regimes such as the Rios Montt government that was found to have committed the worst imaginable genocidal atrocities against Maya peoples and nations. Unfortunately, it is no surprise that the U.S. continues to violate and abrogate its legal obligations and duties under international human rights laws since the U.S. has broken every treaty signed with our relatives from northern Indigenous sovereign tribal nations. Still, we are dismayed that the U.S. Supreme Court would stop the Biden administration from any attempt to end the illegal and inhumane MPP. We call on the U.S. to end the cruel and inhumane MPP that traps us into a vacuum at the Mexican border where we are the most vulnerable to victimization by organized crime and Mexican police. If the U.S. doesn’t want to fulfill its duties under international laws and treaties and properly process asylum seekers then they should stop creating the situations that displace us from our ancestral lands and force us to flee in the first place.”

“The Supreme Court’s unconscionable decision to deny the stay in the MPP case puts thousands of lives of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in immediate danger,” said Camilo Perez-Bustillo, Leadership Team of Witness at the Border. “We stood vigil at the border crossing between Brownsville and Matamoros between January and March 2020 in defense of these migrants’ internationally recognized right to seek asylum, for 90 days when the MPP policy, one of the most blatant examples of the Trump administration’s cruel and illegal border and immigration policies, was at a fever pitch. The Biden Administration must act in defense of these migrants’ rights, as it has pledged to, and against the injustice that the Supreme Court has mandated. Mexican authorities must also do everything necessary to prevent the implementation of MPP, in compliance with Mexico’s own human rights obligations and laws. U.S. and Mexican authorities must collaborate to promote justice, on both sides of the border, not to undermine it.”

 

“The Biden administration was correct to rescind the Trump return to Mexico policy, the whole point of which was to punish people for seeking asylum by trapping them in miserable and dangerous conditions,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “The government must take all steps available to fully end this illegal program, including by re-terminating it with a fuller explanation. What it must not do is use this decision as cover for abandoning its commitment to restore a fair asylum system.”

 

“President Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy subjected thousands to unthinkable violence and deprived them of due process. This policy flies in the face of the values we aspire to as a nation, and we at the National Immigration Law Center are deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court failed to pause the lower court order,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “We are committed to doing everything we can to prevent this egregious policy from harming one more person. We urge the Biden administration to vigorously pursue its appeal before the Fifth Circuit and do everything in its power to ensure this deadly program does not move forward.”

 

“We are deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene in a lower court decision to revive the Migrant Protection Protocols,” said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. “MPP is a harmful policy established by President Trump that forced asylum seekers to return to Mexico to live in dangerous and uncertain circumstances, targeted by gangs and criminal activity. We urge the Biden Administration to continue to fight implementation of this policy to ensure that those fleeing violence and arriving at our borders receive the protection they deserve.”

 

“A compassionate and fair immigration policy should be rooted in welcoming asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, and immigrants. The Supreme Court’s order puts lives in jeopardy and threatens the lives of countless people who are at risk of unnecessary harm,” said Meredith Owen, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Church World Service. “Living out our moral leadership requires an immediate termination of all anti-asylum policies — not only the ‘Remain in Mexico’ (MPP) policy but also the immoral and unlawful ‘Title 42’ expulsions. We must envision a system that increases equity, particularly for Black asylum seekers and migrants, and upholds the dignity of all people.” 

 

Many of our Jewish ancestors perished in the Holocaust because the doors to the United States were closed,” said Jewish Activists for Immigration Justice of Western MA. “Some got to our shores and were returned to Europe to be murdered by the Nazis. As a result of this atrocity, the U.S. and the world recognized and enshrined into law that those fleeing for their lives have the right to seek asylum. The Migrant Protection Protocols policy denies people who are fleeing for their lives the right to seek asylum, violating U.S. and international law. In 2020, our group visited the tent camp in Matamoros, Mexico and learned first-hand the devastating impact of the illegal and inhumane Migrant Protection Protocols on real people who have committed no crime and are just trying to survive. Every legal avenue must immediately be pursued to make sure that MPP is NEVER reinstated. NEVER AGAIN.”

 

“This ruling will be devastating for countless asylum seekers and their families, but it does not deter us in the least. While it is deeply disturbing to see a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court rubber stamp the lower court’s erroneous decision, we will continue to fight this illegal and unconscionable policy. The ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy forced thousands of people seeking protection into situations where they were subjected to sexual violence, kidnapping, disease, and murder,” said Melissa Crow, Senior Supervising Attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project. “It is also a setback to the Biden administration’s promise to rebuild our asylum system but we will continue to fight for a fair and humane asylum process for all those who seek protection.”

 

“The Remain in Mexico policy was a sham of due process, put children and families in danger, and led to family separation,” said Miriam Abaya, Senior Director for Immigration and Children’s Rights at First Focus on Children. “The Biden administration was right to end it and begin a winddown process to give those in the program access to safety in the United States, as our laws require. To protect children’s safety and well-being, our nation must never again implement this policy or anything like it. The Biden administration must take all necessary steps to end the Remain in Mexico policy once and for all.”

 

“Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision is alarming and will undoubtedly result in asylum-seeking children and families being subject to more unnecessary violence and danger. Seeking asylum is not a crime – as a country, we must do better. MPP is a policy proven to be extremely detrimental to asylum-seeking families and children forced to wait in Mexico, putting them at risk of violence, limiting their access to due process protections, and gravely violating their human rights,” said Janti Soeripto, Save the Children President and CEO. “The reinstatement of MPP is a worrisome step backward in our fight for a more humane and just asylum system, and dangerously legitimizes anti-migrant sentiments. We call upon the Biden administration to act swiftly to find a solution that serves the best interests of asylum-seeking children and families. This nation must reclaim its moral standing and prevent children from becoming exposed to more violence and abuse.”

 

“The Remain in Mexico policy is a flagrant disregard for the lives of the already extremely vulnerable children, women, and men who are in dire need of aid at our southern border,” said Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance. “‘Migrant Persecution Protocols’ is a more accurate name, as it was created to inflict suffering by forcing people to stay in unsafe conditions. This decision will lead to further violence against, and exploitation of, some of the most vulnerable people in the world. We have spoken with people who themselves or their family members waiting in Mexico for their asylum cases have been attacked, kidnapped, raped, and even killed as a direct result of this policy.”

 

“The Biden administration’s legacy will be a continuation of the anti-immigrant policies we saw over the last four years unless they are fully committed to welcoming and protecting immigrants by ending MPP,” said Jonathan Goldman, Executive Director of the Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice. “Beyond the illegality of MPP, the cruelty of this policy has resulted in people being sexually assaulted, kidnapped, and killed. This pain and suffering is on the hands of the government. Anything less than a swift and forceful response to this decision will be a failure by the Biden administration.” 

 

“The ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy was a devastating blow to asylum seekers—including survivors of gender-based violence—who sought protection in the United States and were instead returned to violent conditions,” said Archi Pyati, CEO of the Tahirih Justice Center. “In failing to intervene to prevent the re-implementation of this inhumane policy, the Supreme Court has disregarded U.S. and international law, and abandoned our obligations to the global community. Asylum is essential to protect vulnerable survivors whose governments cannot or will not protect them from harm. As long as the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy continues, the U.S. is effectively slamming the door shut on thousands of people who are seeking a bridge to safety. The Biden Administration must end this unconscionable program once and for all.”

 

“‘Remain in Mexico’ is an assault on human rights and U.S. asylum law,” said Anna Gallagher, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., or CLINIC, “and both are already under attack due to the Biden administration’s decision to keep Title 42 in place. CLINIC and our affiliates, like so many across this country, stand ready to welcome. Our message to the Biden administration at this critical moment is clear: we will hold you to your promise to restore the soul of America. To do so, you must take immediate action to end Remain in Mexico.”

 

“To use the Supreme Court’s own words, its decision to require the continued implementation of Migration Protection Protocols (MPP) is arbitrary and capricious,” stated David Inoue, Executive Director, Japanese American Citizens League. “When implemented, MPP reversed longstanding immigration practices, also with little justification, endangering migrant families and children seeking asylum. The Supreme Court’s majority has chosen to reject the fundamental value of welcoming refugees as we seek to do so with thousands of our allies from Afghanistan in the support of policies steeped in the extreme racism and xenophobia of the previous administration.” 

 

“It is unconscionable that the Supreme Court would force the government to reinstate the illegal Remain in Mexico program,” said Carmen Maria Rey, U.S. Legal Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). “Not only does Remain in Mexico make a mockery of due process, it literally puts migrant lives in danger. IRAP calls on the Biden administration to immediately renew its efforts to terminate this policy and restore full access to the asylum system by revoking Title 42, another remnant of the xenophobic Trump era that continues to push migrants into harm’s way in Mexico. The Biden administration must use this moment to recommit to restoring a humane asylum system and not use the Supreme Court’s ill-advised decision to give cover to inhumane and illegal policies.”

 

“The Supreme Court decision to uphold a reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) is deeply disappointing and will continue to force asylum seekers to languish in harmful and precarious circumstances across the border,” said Nili Sarit Yossinger, Executive Director of Refugee Congress. “We strongly urge the Biden administration to keep pushing back against any policy that impedes upon a person’s ability to legally seek asylum in the US.”

 

“Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision imposes even more suffering onto families who have come to the U.S. seeking safety and hope and instead must now stay in Mexico where they endure kidnapping, rape, and terrible violence,” said Tami Goodlette, Director of Litigation at the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES). As RAICES has said many times: SEEKING REFUGE IN THE UNITED STATES IS A LEGAL ACT. There is nothing improper, immoral, or wrong about it. MPP violates U.S. and international law and the Biden Administration must move swiftly to fully rescind MPP or it will own MPP and all the violence that results.

 

“The Biden Administration was right to end the Remain in Mexico policy when it did. While we are deeply disappointed in this SCOTUS decision to intervene in a lower court’s decision, we will keep working to end this policy once and for all. We urge President Biden to do everything in his power to stand by his commitment to uphold access to asylum at the border and welcome those arriving with  a fair and humane process. This means not reinstating the Remain in Mexico policy at all costs. Too many people have already suffered and been wrongfully returned to danger under the Trump Administration’s anti-asylum policies. To reinstate Remain in Mexico would be to cause unnecessary and unimaginable suffering and harm,” states LAWG co-director, Daniella Burgi-Palomino.

 

“The possible resurrection of the brutal Remain in Mexico policy after its supposed termination is about as dystopian as the policy’s Orwellian name: the Migrant Protection Protocols. The policy did not protect migrants under Trump, and it does not protect migrants under Biden,” said Tess Hellgren, Deputy Legal Director of Innovation Law Lab. “The reinstatement of Remain in Mexico would jeopardize the lives of thousands of individuals seeking safety for themselves and their families. It’s time to put an end to this racist, wanton cruelty once and for all.”

 

“We have been so encouraged by the humane processing of families during the wind-down of the previous MPP by the Biden administration. While many have been able to apply for asylum, many who have been waiting for so long remain in danger in Mexico. Any renewal of a new MPP system should continue the processing of those who have been waiting so long with the hope of a just hearing of their appeal for asylum, as well as those on the Huisha or HIAS lists,” said Terry Burton, chair of the Interfaith Welcome Coalition. “Our partner NGOs in Mexico have been actively assisting the families forced to remain in Mexico since this policy began, risking their own safety to help these vulnerable people in the midst of cartel gangs and corruption. The administration should continue to press for the end of MPP and ensure the safety of all those who continue to flee dangers in their home countries only to be forced to remain in danger by MPP.”

 

“The Supreme Court not only confirms a factually suspect lower court decision, but it also callously denies the reality on the border and the humanity of those seeking asylum. Forcing migrants to remain in dangerous Mexican border cities leaves them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation by cartels and outsources their care and support to resource strapped municipalities, NGOs, churches and ministries,” said Stephen Reeves, Executive Director of Fellowship Southwest. “MPP is a shameful departure from the best American tradition of welcoming the persecuted and last night’s order is deeply disappointing. Fellowship Southwest will continue to support those sacrificially serving the migrants and meeting their needs and urges the Biden administration to continue their effort to repeal the policy.” 

 

“It is truly disappointing to see the U.S. Supreme Court directing the Biden-Harris administration to continue to implement a program such as Remain in México, which has had such a clear intent to ignore the rights of people seeking humanitarian protection in the U.S.,” stated Oscar A Chacon, executive director of Alianza Americas. “In light of the vastly positive impact of people who have settled in the U.S. over the years, be them recipients of asylum, refugees, or migrants; we should be welcoming every one of them, instead of keeping in place programs designed to violate their rights. The Biden-Harris administration must do everything within its reach to put an end to this harmful program.”

 

“Since 2019, the International Mayan League has denounced MPP and heard directly from Indigenous asylum seekers in the U.S./Mexico Border,” said Juanita Cabrear Lopez (Mam) and Executive Director of the International Mayan League. “MPP is detrimental to all asylum seekers but Indigenous Peoples are particularly vulnerable as it places an already at risk group in extremely dangerous situations where they are targeted by human and sex traffickers, cartels, among other criminal factions simply because of their Indigenous identity. Indigneous peoples are disproportionately impacted by persecution, criminalization, and a history of genocide in their home countries. Many are fleeing and have the legal right to seek asylum.” 

 

“We should not forget the cruelty and chaos of the Trump years,” said Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice. “Remain in Mexico or MPP was about inflicting intentional harm in a failed act of deterrence in violation of U.S. law, international treaties, and American values. Remain in Mexico should not be resuscitated, reinstated, or reformed, it should be rescinded, reviled, and relegated to the dustbin of history. In light of the SCOTUS’s radical ruling to re-embrace cruelty and chaos, the Biden administration should find a way to end this policy in a manner that passes muster with the vague and twisted logic of the District Court’s ruling, while ensuring that we never again go back to the cruelty, chaos, and devastation that has already had such a demonstrated human toll.”

 

“While we are extremely disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the lower court’s decision to reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP),” says Charlene D’Cruz, Director of Lawyers For Good Government’s Project Corazon, “Project Corazon will continue to support asylum seekers as they exercise their right to seek asylum. MPP is a harmful, xenophobic policy that has done nothing but create dangerous — and in many cases deadly — conditions in the southern border region. We urge President Biden to reject returning to a policy that separates families and subjects asylum seekers to horrific conditions, and instead put an end to MPP once and for all.”

 

“No iteration of ‘Remain in Mexico’ is compatible with the right to asylum or U.S. obligations under domestic and international law,” said Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director of the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC). “The Biden Administration must take every step possible to protect those seeking safety at our borders. The Supreme Court’s decision threatens to place thousands of migrants and asylum seekers in danger. Federal courts and civil society organizations, including NIJC, have documented the irreversible harm to people subjected to this unlawful policy. We call on the Biden administration to take all measures legally available to bring this horrific record to bear and achieve termination of this inhumane program.”

 

“Denying access to asylum in any form – whether under President Trump or President Biden and whether under Remain in Mexico or under Title 42 – is a national shame. We need a full restoration of asylum now, not later,” said Dylan Corbett, Executive Director of Hope Border Institute.

 

“The decision to reinstate the inhumane ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy will only compound the grave danger asylum-seekers are already facing,” said Xochitl Oseguera, Vice President of Mamás Con Poder. “Many of those at our border are children and mothers seeking asylum and unfairly denied under this policy and its continuance through Title 42. America’s moms want every asylum-seeker and every immigrant to be treated with compassion, dignity and respect.”

 

“HIAS is very disappointed that the Supreme Court denied a stay in the ‘Remain in Mexico’ case,” said Andrew Geibel, Policy Counsel at HIAS. “Through our work at the border, HIAS saw firsthand how the program created a humanitarian disaster on the U.S.-Mexico border, and we are dismayed that the Biden administration will be forced to restart the program. While HIAS will do everything in our power to help those affected by this decision, we also call on the Biden administration to use every tool at its disposal to end the program again. The administration must also comply with the decision in a way that best protects the rights of asylum seekers.”

 

“The Biden administration was right to end Remain in Mexico, a policy that deliberately subjected asylum seekers and migrants to inhumane conditions and deplorable levels of violence in Mexico. It was and remains a clear violation of our domestic laws and U.S. treaty obligations towards refugees,” said Eleanor Acer, senior director for refugee protection at Human Rights First. “Attempts to make MPP ‘better’ would be doomed to fail given the policy’s illegality and the pervasive violence against asylum seekers in Mexico, both by cartels with extensive territorial control and Mexican authorities who frequently collaborate with criminal groups to kidnap, attack, and extort asylum seekers. Whether through MPP, Title 42, or a revised version of the inherently flawed MPP, turning people seeking refuge back to danger is illegal and inhumane.”

 

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