House Bill Would Bring More Chaos to Border

WASHINGTON, D.C. Ignoring the more focused supplemental aid bill the Senate passed, a group of House members included “Remain in Mexico” and other dangerous provisions in their newly released bill, the “Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act. Human Rights First urges Members of Congress not to support this deeply flawed bill.   

“The asylum-related provisions of this bill would only bring more chaos, dysfunction, and human suffering to our borders. Resurrecting the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy would deliver people seeking asylum to torture, separate families, and lead to more grave human rights abuses,” said Eleanor Acer, Senior Director for Refugee Protection at Human Rights First. “Human Rights First’s extensive research on the policy decisively shows that “Remain in Mexico” cannot be implemented safely or humanely. The policy not only wastes finite government resources, it is a boon to the criminal cartels that target migrants delivered to wait in their territories.” 

Human Rights First monitored and reported on the “Remain in Mexico” policy since its inception in January 2019, conducting in-depth research and issuing a series of reports in February 2019, August 2019, October 2019, December 2019, January 2020, May 2020, December 2020, December 2021, January 2022 and its final report “Fatally Flawed” issued in September 2022.   

In addition to a reimposition of the “Remain in Mexico” policy, the bill includes an expulsion policy and other policies aimed at blocking entry or punishing immigrants and people seeking asylum. Human Rights First issued 17 reports documenting the harms caused by the Title 42 expulsion policy.   

Human Rights First continues to recommend that Congress and the Biden administration focus on effective, humane and fair solutions that uphold asylum, properly fund adjudications, and effectively manage migration.


Published on February 16, 2024


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