This week, the Supreme Court issued its final judgment certifying its June 2022 ruling that the Biden administration properly followed the law when it terminated the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as Remain in Mexico. Importantly, all nine Supreme Court justices agreed that the lower court lacked legal authority to force the administration to restart MPP. The responsibility remains on the Biden administration to take swift action to end MPP and facilitate the entry of all asylum seekers who have been forced to await their cases in Mexico.
Concurrently, the U.S. Senate is approaching a key vote for climate justice and health care. Once again, lawmakers are threatening to attach harmful amendments to this must-pass bill, in order to prolong anti-asylum policies such as MPP and Title 42 expulsions indefinitely.
NIJC’s National Director of Legal Services Lisa Koop responded with the following statement:
“This week, the executive and legislative branches will make a choice: either they will continue cruel, anti-asylum policies that violate basic principles of human rights, or they can put one of the most shameful chapters in U.S. asylum history behind us. Once again, we are looking to the Biden administration to end MPP swiftly and durably. The Biden administration is contradicting itself in ways that call into question its commitment to protecting asylum seekers. The administration sought to end the program twice, citing the horrific human rights record and unlawful character of this Trump-era policy. Simultaneously, credible reports have emerged that top-level officials, including the president, are supportive of keeping MPP in place to deter people from exercising their lawful right to claim asylum at the border. These reports persist as the administration’s resounding silence continues and families trapped in MPP suffer.
“Last week, an NIJC attorney traveled to the border to represent an asylum seeker in her MPP proceedings. With attorney representation, the individual was able to present her claim and she was granted asylum after enduring months of insecurity and mistreatment in Mexico. Her story confirms there is no gentle version of this program that mitigates its foundational harms. The Biden administration must end all policies which prevent people fleeing persecution from seeking asylum in the United States, and permit those who have been forced to wait in Mexico to present their claims safely within the United States.
“Meanwhile, the Senate also approaches an important turning point for the future of our planet and domestic health care. Poison-pill amendments that would continue MPP or Title 42 expulsions blatantly violate U.S. and international law, and threaten to hold hostage broader policies that are critical to securing the health and wellbeing of all people in the United States. Asylum seekers are parents, children, siblings, and loved ones who deserve dignity; they are not political pawns for U.S. senators to sacrifice at will.”