With Re-Termination of “Remain in Mexico,” Human Rights First Urges Permanent End to Inhumane Border Policies

WASHINGTON D.C. — The Biden administration today released companion memos to re-terminate the ill-named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), or “Remain in Mexico,” a Trump-era policy that endangers the lives of people seeking asylum. Human Rights First commends DHS Secretary Mayorkas for issuing a re-termination memo and welcomes a government filing to vacate a court ruling that had ordered the resumption of the program. We urge immediate further action to ensure this illegal program is not restarted and to end the use of Title 42, another horrific Trump-era policy.

“President Biden and his administration must stop implementing Trump policies that endanger the lives and safety of people seeking refuge in the United States,” said Human Rights First senior director for refugee protection, Eleanor Acer. “‘Remain in Mexico’ and other policies that flout asylum laws and treaties are inhumane and unjust. Every day they are in place, they deliver people seeking protection to places where they are targets of brutal attacks and kidnappings perpetrated by deadly cartels and corrupt Mexican officers.”

As Secretary Mayorkas cites in the re-termination memo, Human Rights First tracked over 1,500 cases of reported kidnappings and attacks against migrants subjected to MPP. Human Rights First’s newest report found at least 7,647 reported kidnappings and other violent attacks on people blocked or expelled to Mexico under “Title 42” — another Trump administration policy that uses spurious claims of public health to return asylum seekers to danger — since President Biden took office, demonstrating the need to end that program as well as MPP. Instead, the administration should restore asylum and uphold refugee law.

In the wake of MPP’s re-termination, Human Rights First urges the administration to take all lawful steps to avoid restarting this illegal and inhumane program. After a Supreme Court ruling two months ago declined to block a U.S. district court decision calling for MPP to be reinstated, Human Rights First and other organizations repeatedly urged the administration to issue a new memorandum re-terminating MPP in line with requirements of recent court rulings.


Published on October 29, 2021


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