Updated: Sep 23, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 29, 2021
Contact: Lorena Bourdevaire
LOS ANGELES: After months of calls from advocates to take steps to once again terminate the failed Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), known as Remain in Mexico, the Biden administration has finally issued a new termination memo.
The memo clearly states what we knew since the policy was first implemented—the Remain in Mexico program was and is illegal, violates basic human rights and does not resolve any of the underlying problems that force asylum seekers to flee their home countries and seek refuge in the United States.
In the memo, Secretary Mayorkas acknowledges “MPP had endemic flaws, imposed unjustifiable human costs, pulled resources and personnel away from other priority efforts, and did not address the root causes of irregular migration [...] MPP fails to provide the fair process and humanitarian protections that individuals deserve under the law.”
While Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef) applauds the new memo and recognizes the Biden administration's renewed efforts to terminate Remain in Mexico, this memo does not immediately end MPP. Given the ongoing litigation that prolongs this nightmare, we urge the administration to take immediate additional steps to ensure not a single human will be forced into this deadly program. Immigrant Defenders calls for a full and definitive end to Remain in Mexico and asks that the administration takes steps to ensure the Texas injunction that requires its implementation is vacated.
“Compliance with the Texas injunction does not compel the U.S. government to put into motion a policy that causes devastation to human beings and their families. The Biden administration can and should terminate the remain in Mexico policy once and for all,” said Margaret Cargioli, ImmDef’s Managing Attorney. “Not one more kidnapping, not one more death, not one more child without medicine, not one more mother afraid to send their child to school for fear of kidnapping due to our broken border policies.”
“There will never be a humane way to bar asylum seekers from their right to asylum protections. We are reassured by the Biden administration’s new memo but disheartened that it took this long to be issued. Thousands of vulnerable families and individuals have suffered for too long under MPP and current inhumane border policies. Biden must stay on course with ending Trump’s dark stain on immigration policy,” said Joyce Noche, Immigrant Defenders Law Center Legal Services Director.
We can safely welcome asylum seekers and migrants with dignity and due process, but not while xenophobic and harmful policies like MPP and Title 42 remain.
Immigrant Defenders looks to the Biden administration to use all the tools they have at their disposal to ensure the Remain in Mexico policy ends and that this illegal and inhumane policy is never considered nor re-implemented again.
Lastly, harms similar to those perpetuated under Remain in Mexico are being repeated at our border every hour of every day due to Title 42, so we will end our statement with one more plea: END TITLE 42.
Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef) is a next-generation social justice law firm that defends our immigrant communities against injustices in the immigration system. We envision a future where no immigrant will be forced to face an unjust immigration system alone. Our programs are a first step towards the long-term goal of providing universal representation to all immigrants facing deportation. ImmDef is the largest non‐profit, pro bono provider of deportation defense in Southern California with offices in Los Angeles, Adelanto, Riverside, Santa Ana, and San Diego.