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Biden's Failure to Issue New Memo to Terminate the Remain in Mexico Policy

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

For Immediate Release

September 16, 2021

Contact: Lorena Bourdevaire


LOS ANGELES The Biden administration failed to publicly commit to issuing a new memo to terminate the Remain in Mexico policy, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), that has left tens of thousands of asylum seekers vulnerable to kidnapping, rape, and other human rights abuses.

While MPP is not back in place and the report lists several challenges to bring it back, such as Mexico having to yet agree to reinstate the policy, the Biden administration failed to publicly commit to issuing a new memo to terminate the policy for good. The lack of commitment to end this program is the exact opposite of what President Biden’s campaign trail promised. Lindsay Toczylowski, Co-Founder and Executive Director explains: “There is no such thing as a more humane version of a program that has directly led to such extreme pain and suffering. Restarting the Remain in Mexico policy will directly lead to the loss of human lives. That is what the Biden administration is choosing by not issuing a new memo. 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.”

Instead of showing that this Administration values immigrant lives and takes seriously our commitments to protecting refugees and asylum seekers, President Biden is turning his back on his day one promise to them. According to Joyce Noce, Co-Legal Director, “We have already witnessed the suffering of thousands of families, mothers, fathers, members of the LGBTQ community who have been exposed to the same dangers they face in their home countries thanks to this senseless policy. Enough is enough. Reinstalling MPP would be a step backwards, a step that advances xenophobic and anti-immigrant beliefs. Fighting for a more humane asylum system that treats and welcomes immigrants with dignity is not a choice; it’s a requirement for an administration that promised to reform our broken system.”

Following the Supreme Court’s August 25, 2021 decision to allow MPP to be reinstated, the Biden Administration had a choice: fight tooth and nail for immigrant rights and justice or cower to supporters of the Trump Administration’s xenophobic policy. President Biden chose the latter.

Despite this setback, ImmDef will continue to advocate for a fair and orderly system where no one is turned away at our borders nor denied their right to seek asylum from the interior of the United States.

Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef) is a next-generation social justice law firm that defends our immigrant communities against injustices in the legal system. We envision a future where no immigrant will be forced to face immigration court alone. Our programs are a first step towards the long-term goal of providing universal representation to all immigrants facing deportation. ImmDef is now the largest non‐profit, pro bono provider of deportation defense in California with offices in Los Angeles, Adelanto, Riverside, Santa Ana, and San Diego.

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