Today the Biden administration reiterated its intention to begin returning asylum seekers to Mexico through the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program as soon as mid-November. The program, also known as “Remain in Mexico,” forced more than 70,000 migrants and asylum seekers to wait in deadly conditions in Mexico during the Trump administration. The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) condemns the administration for reinstating MPP, despite having weeks to issue a new, more comprehensive memo to terminate the program or take other steps to bring the administration into compliance with the federal court order while also upholding U.S. asylum obligations.
The administration’s actions are even more unconscionable against the backdrop of its continued policy of mass expulsions of asylum seekers arriving at the southern border - sending more than 700,000 individuals back to potential harm without asylum screenings since President Biden’s inauguration.
Lisa Koop, Associate Director of Legal Services of NIJC, stated the following in response:
“The Biden administration has chosen to reinstate MPP for political expediency at the cost of human lives. Reinstating MPP will place thousands of migrants and asylum seekers in danger. NIJC has worked with countless individuals who faced unimaginable violence, including women and children who were kidnapped and sexually assaulted while in MPP. Meanwhile, the Title 42 expulsion policy remains in place, causing parallel strife for those seeking safety. Once again, 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.”