RAICES Condemns Biden Administration’s Plan to Re-operationalize MPP

(San Antonio, Texas) — Yesterday, the Biden Administration informed a federal court of its plans to re-operationalize the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as “Remain in Mexico”, the Trump-era policy that left 66,000 people stranded at the border, thousands living on the streets and in makeshift refugee camps, and put 20,000 children at risk of violent attacks.

While the Biden Administration promised to end Remain in Mexico, and in fact did so until it was stymied in court, the recent filing backtracks on this promise and instead shows the Biden Administration is actively trying to re-implement MPP once Mexico is in agreement. We will hold them accountable. Recent court orders do not prevent the Biden Administration from doing what is right and ending MPP, which has left tens of thousands of asylum seekers vulnerable to kidnapping, rape, and other human rights abuses.

Our laws unquestionably allow asylum seekers who present themselves at the U.S. border to request asylum. The UN Refugee Protocol also makes it clear that someone who fears persecution cannot be sent to a place where they are in danger. These protections exist for a reason, and the U.S. cannot flout such important human rights that are enshrined in U.S. and international law.

RAICES is a part of pending litigation seeking to ensure that the Biden Administration stands behind our nation’s obligation to the most vulnerable of asylum seekers: children who are alone in our country. These children who are in need of protection should be treated in a humane and dignified manner. Instead, the Biden Administration continues to allow these children to suffer the harms caused by MPP.

The compliance notice filed by the Administration only furthers the wrongdoing and shows little regard for international law or human dignity. The court filing fails to consider the urgent need for an asylum system that meets our legal and moral standards.

MPP has become an invisible wall at the border, effectively ending asylum and Biden’s failure to repeal it should alarm all of us. Texas will not stop its attacks on Biden’s entire progressive agenda and those seeking refuge. All progressives, immigrant rights and human rights organizations must work together to urge the Biden Administration to stick to its priorities, and that starts with carrying through on his promise to end Remain in Mexico. If not, Texas will continue to use the courts to prevent much-needed policy changes and impede virtually all aspects of Biden’s immigration agenda.

Jessica Ortiz
[email protected]