Human Rights First Leads Dozens of Organizations in Urging DHS to Improve Wind Down of “Remain in Mexico”

NEW YORK – Human Rights First and more than 50 faith-based, humanitarian, legal services, immigration, and human rights organizations and law school clinics today issued a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging them to improve the wind down of the Trump administration’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP), and swiftly bring to safety asylum seekers still stranded under the cruel, illegal program.

“While we appreciate the steps the Biden administration has taken to bring some people subjected to MPP to safety, serious gaps remain in MPP processing,” said Associate Director of Research and Analysis for Refugee Protection Kennji Kizuka. “The lives and safety of asylum seekers still stranded in Mexico are in the hands of President Biden and his administration. With every day’s delay, asylum seekers are left at risk of kidnappings, attacks, and other violence. The administration should swiftly fulfil the president’s stated commitment to end this cruel policy and bring these asylum seekers into safety.”

The letter calls on the Biden administration to move ahead with the next phase of the “MPP” wind down; to include all individuals subjected to MPP; increase MPP processing sites; ensure safe, accessible transportation for those being processed out of MPP; address continued issues with the registration process; better coordinate with bi-national humanitarian and legal service providers assisting asylum seekers; and provide the necessary support for border communities welcoming asylum seekers.

Last month, Human Rights First issued a fact sheet outlining how the Biden administration can end MPP and ensure safety for those subjected to the policy. Human Rights First has tracked at least 492 attacks and kidnappings suffered by asylum seekers turned away or stranded in Mexico since President Biden took office in January 2021, and has also urged the Biden administration to stop expelling and blocking asylum seekers under another cruel Trump administration policy, often referred to as “Title 42” due to its use of public health authority to purport to override refugee law.


Published on May 18, 2021


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