Statement: Asylum Seekers Seek Emergency Relief As Battle Over “Remain in Mexico” Policy Continues

Updated: Nov 4

For Immediate Release

November 3, 2021 CONTACT: Marion Steinfels, Southern Poverty Law Center, 202-557-0430, Arianna Rosales, National Immigration Project, (202) 524-9121, Alex Mensing, Innovation Law Lab, 619-432-6378,

Los Angeles, CA – Six asylum seekers subjected to the “Remain in Mexico” policy are seeking an emergency order from a federal court allowing them to return to the United States to pursue their claims for asylum and related relief. Each of the individuals received a final order of removal as a result of the “Remain in Mexico” policy, either because they were prevented from attending their immigration hearings or because they were unable to fully and fairly present their claims.

In addition to denying these individuals access to the U.S. asylum process, the government has forced these individuals, all of whom are plaintiffs in Immigrant Defenders Law Center, et al. v. Mayorkas, to live in danger, facing violence and discrimination daily.

The lawsuit, filed in October 2020 and amended in August 2021, seeks to facilitate the return to the United States, with appropriate public health measures, of these individual asylum-seeking plaintiffs and others similarly situated, for a period sufficient to prepare and file their motions to reopen and, if successful, pursue their claims for asylum. It also seeks to facilitate the work of legal service organizations that represent individuals subjected to the Remain in Mexico policy. In addition to the six asylum-seeking individuals subjected to Remain in Mexico, the suit was brought on behalf of Immigrant Defenders Law Center and Jewish Family Service of San Diego.

Below are comments from the groups involved in the case:

"There's an arsenal of evidence that the Remain in Mexico policy is a human rights failure. This policy has not only caused harm to thousands of people but also stripped asylum seekers of their due process rights by exposing them to unnecessary danger, kidnapping, abuse and murder. Our government can and should restore people's right to pursue asylum with s