CGRS Urges the Administration Not to Re-start “Remain in Mexico”

Friday, October 15, 2021

 

The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) is deeply dismayed by the Biden administration’s announcement that it intends to re-start the illegal policy of forcing asylum seekers to wait in perilous conditions in Mexico. The administration cannot hide behind a court order when it has many other tools at its disposal to end this program, as it has repeatedly promised to do. CGRS again implores the administration to stop this and all other policies that deny the right to seek asylum and disgrace our long-held traditions.

Although the Trump administration created the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols (“MPP”), the responsibility is now in President Biden’s hands. He himself acknowledged that policies like MPP fuel violence and chaos at our border. The Biden administration’s months-long delay in issuing a new termination memorandum is unacceptable. It’s even worse that officials instead used that time to develop a more “humane” way of carrying out the program. The Mexican border cities that people are forced back to continue to be profoundly unsafe for people seeking protection. Simply put, there is no way to humanely carry out a policy designed to deny humanity to those subject to it. 

“By failing to keep its promise to end the MPP program and restart asylum processing, the administration is making a choice,” said CGRS Legal Director Blaine Bookey, who has been counsel in multiple lawsuits challenging the legality of MPP. “A choice to continue the racist, xenophobic policies of the Trump administration. A choice to endanger the lives of human beings who are in need of protection. A choice to break the law and our legal and moral duty to provide safe haven. Enough. A fundamentally inhumane program cannot be fixed. There is no excuse for the administration’s delay in issuing a new termination memorandum—the U.S. government was able to marshal the resources to expel thousands of Haitians in a matter of days. We can no longer believe that the administration is prioritizing its promise to rebuild the asylum system and welcome in a dignified way. Prove us wrong.”