Calls for Swift Issuing of New Memo Ending MPP
LOS ANGELES—Justice Action Center (JAC) expresses deep disappointment in the Biden administration’s announcement that it is taking steps to revive “Remain in Mexico,” a Trump-era policy also known as MPP that left tens of thousands of asylum seekers stuck in dangerous conditions along the Mexican border. It is beyond contention that MPP subjects asylum seekers—including children and their families—to unnecessary harm while waiting to access due process. There is no other just, humane, or moral step forward for the administration to take other than issuing a new memo that will end the program.
Created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under former President Trump in January 2019, Remain in Mexico forces asylum seekers fleeing persecution to the U.S. to wait in Mexico indefinitely while their cases make their way through the U.S. immigration court system. Asylum seekers in MPP have described harrowing experiences of kidnapping, rape, and other human rights abuses which have been documented extensively by legal and humanitarian organizations at the border. The COVID-19 pandemic further endangers asylum seekers, as they are forced to wait in crowded, unsanitary shelters or encampments.
Last month, the Supreme Court failed to block a court order by a federal district court judge, mandating the Biden administration demonstrate “good faith” efforts to revive MPP. However, recent court orders should not prevent the Biden administration from doing what is right, and fulfill promises the President made on the campaign trail.
“If decisive action is not taken to wind down MPP, we will hold the Biden administration accountable for cowing to partisan pressure and taking steps to ultimately uphold this inhumane policy, rather than dismantle it for good. JAC, in coordination with advocates and activists, remains committed to building a dignified and just future for all,” said JAC founder and director Karen Tumlin.
“MPP continues to be a stain on our values as a nation. To subject fellow human beings to additional pain, suffering, and trauma while fleeing violence is unconscionable,” said JAC counsel Jane Bentrott.
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Justice Action Center (JAC) is a new nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting for greater justice for immigrant communities by combining litigation and storytelling. JAC is committed to bringing additional litigation resources to address unmet needs, empower clients, and change the corrosive narrative around immigrants in the U.S.