Human Rights First Urges Mexican Supreme Court to Find “Remain in Mexico” Illegal
WASHINGTON – With Mexican NGO Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho (FJEDD) bringing to the Mexican Supreme Court a constitutional challenge to the country’s role in the Migrant Protection Protocols, or “Remain in Mexico” policy, Human Rights First and other U.S.-based human rights groups today announced that they submitted amicus curiae letters in support of the case.
At today’s historic press conference—the first time U.S. and Mexican organizations jointly advocated against externalization policies that leave people seeking U.S. asylum stranded in Mexico in danger—Christina Asencio, Director of Research and Analysis for Refugee Protection at Human Rights First, said, “Policies such as ‘Remain in Mexico’, Title 42, metering, and the current asylum ban that act to block or restrict access to U.S. asylum and require people fleeing persecution to remain waiting in Mexico where their lives and physical integrity are at risk are immoral, illegal, and inhumane. In particular, the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy violates U.S. and international treaty obligations, denies refugee protection to people fleeing persecution and torture, and has resulted in widespread human rights violations against asylum seekers physically in Mexico under the program.”
Also at the press conference were U.S. organizations Al Otro Lado and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project; Mexican organizations were represented by FJEDD, Fray Matías de Córdova, and Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración.
In its amicus letter, Human Rights First cites its tracking of at least 1,544 publicly reported cases of kidnappings, murder, torture, rape, and other violent attacks by powerful cartels that control the border region and corrupt officials in Mexico against people returned to Mexico to await their immigration court proceedings.
Human Rights First’s research also shows that 41 percent of nearly 2,700 migrants and asylum-seekers in court-ordered “Remain in Mexico” reimplementation reported violent attacks in Mexico. Kidnappings comprised 36 percent of these attacks, and one in every three involved Mexican police, immigration agents, National Guard officers, and other government officials.
The Mexican Supreme Court of Justice is scheduled to discuss a draft ruling by Minister Speaker Yasmín Esquivel to dismiss the constitutional case on October 11, 2023.
Human Rights First has issued more than 10 reports on “Remain in Mexico”, including most recently Fatally Flawed, and produced numerous reports on Title 42, including a tracker of more than 13,480 harms reported against asylum seekers and migrants blocked in or expelled to Mexico under the policy. Human Rights First has issued three reportson the current asylum ban and continues to monitor its harms.