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ImmDef Responds to DHS Announcement of Expanded Criteria for MPP Processing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Renee Garcia, rgarcia@immdef.org; 213-634-7615


Statement on Expanded Criteria for MPP following DHS Announcement on June 23, 2021

Los Angeles, CA. (June 23, 2021) ImmDef applauds the Biden Administration’s announcement ushering the next phase of winding down the cruel Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), known as the Remain in Mexico program. Since its implementation in 2019, ImmDef has borne witness to the daily horrors and inhumanity that MPP has inflicted on the lives of thousands of asylum seekers. For the past 2.5 years, our government subjected asylum seekers including, pregnant women, Black migrants, children, and LGBQTIA+ individuals, to dangerous and life-threatening circumstances. For them and for thousands of others who remain trapped in Mexico, today’s announcement is a message of hope and new beginning.


This second phase will allow individuals and families whose cases were terminated or ordered removed in absentia, to reopen their cases and have a meaningful opportunity to seek asylum in the United States. This is the next step to restoring due process but it is not the final step. We call for a restoration of due process for people who received an in absentia order of removal as they never had legitimate access to their right to asylum. All persons subjected to the cruel MPP program deserve a fair opportunity to request asylum in the United States.


Additionally, we urge the Biden administration to expand their attempts to restore and re-build the asylum system by ending the bogus implementation of the Title 42 policy. Maintaining the Title 42 policy while taking steps to fully end the Remain in Mexico program puts our country at odds with its moral obligation to welcome asylum seekers and refugees with dignity. Undoing the harm caused by immigration policies passed under the previous administration requires swift and comprehensive action and nothing less.


“For over two years our clients have been trapped in limbo holding on to hope that this day would come. These clients have faced incredible obstacles, including surviving a pandemic and on-going threats to their safety while in Mexico. Finally welcoming asylum seekers who were in the Remain in Mexico program into the U.S. while they continue their cases will save lives,” said Joyce Noche, Director of Legal Services at Immigrant Defenders Law Center. “We call for due process to be restored for individuals and families whose cases were fast tracked through a system designed for them to fail, whose cases were kidnapped or sick, and unaccompanied kids previously in MPP who still face deportation because of this cruel program. Additionally, we urge the Biden administration to continue the momentum of restoring the asylum system by ending the implementation of Title 42 in order to truly welcome asylum seekers and refugees with dignity.”

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