Statement on Restart of Migrant Protection Protocols

December 2, 2021 4:30 pm

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WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced today that in response to a court order obtained by the states of Texas and Missouri, the government will soon restart the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (“MPP”), more commonly known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, under which people seeking asylum are forced to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are pending in the U.S.
The following is a statement from Judy Rabinovitz, special counsel with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, and lead counsel in Innovation Law Lab, ACLU’s challenge to the policy:

“The reimplementation of this illegal and cruel policy will inflict on thousands of additional people seeking asylum the same harms that were well documented under its previous implentation: horrific abuse, including torture, rape, and death; and the denial of any meaningful opportunity to obtain asylum.

“It is widely recognized by advocates and experts that MPP was a humanitarian catastrophe, its underlying purpose being to deter people from seeking asylum by trapping them in miserable and dangerous conditions. Although the government has made some modifications to how the policy will be implemented, tinkering around the edges will not lead to fundamentally different results.

“Secretary Mayorkas himself recently acknowledged that MPP is inherently flawed and cannot be fixed, and that its human costs are substantial and unjustifiable. Although the Biden administration may claim it has no choice but to restart MPP, there is no question that it has a choice to end Title 42, which causes many of the same harms, and yet it has chosen to continue and even double down on that cruel and unlawful policy that turns people away at the border under the guise of public health. It is imperative that that administration do everything within its power to bring both policies to a complete end.”

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