Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative (HILSC) is utterly disappointed that the Biden Administration caved to political pressure from the Attorneys General of Texas and Missouri and restarted the inhumane, immoral, dangerous, and unjust Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), also know as “Remain in Mexico.”
Instead of fulfilling his campaign promise of an orderly, safe, and humane immigration system, President Biden is resurrecting the abhorrent, xenophobic, and cruel migrant expulsion policy of the Trump Administration. Not only will the Biden Administration restart the MPP program that it had promised to end, but the Administration is also expanding it to cover all migrants from the Western Hemisphere, including Haitians.
The Remain in Mexico program forced tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for their immigration hearing, trapping them in the most dangerous parts of the world and exposing them to violence, rape, murder, kidnapping, and extortion by violent cartels. Secretary Mayorkas of the Department of Homeland Security has publicly admitted that MPP caused “substantial and unjustifiable human costs on the individuals who were exposed to harm while waiting in Mexico.”
There is no retooling that can make this inherently inhumane MPP program humane. The only way to restore humanity and fairness to our asylum system is for the Biden Administration to finally re-terminate MPP and fully restore the asylum process to allow migrants fleeing persecution to apply for protection at our southern borders.
Along with the announcement to restart MPP, the Administration plans to continue to apply Title 42 to expel migrants approaching the southern border who are not put in MPP, despite near universal disavowals from public health experts. The Title 42 expulsions deprive those seeking protection at our border a modicum of due process. Every day that Title 42 is in place, the U.S. is violating its obligations under American and international law of non-refoulement, that we do not return people to harm’s way.
We must restore access to our asylum system in the southern border to allow persons fleeing violence and persecution to seek refuge in the United States.
We demand that the Biden Administration terminate MPP and Title 42.