Democratic lawmakers want Biden to re-terminate ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy

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Letter seeks reassurance Administration won't comply with Texas judge's order to restart Migrant Protection Protocols program

In this April 30, 2019, file photo, migrants seeking asylum in the United States line up for a meal provided by volunteers near the international bridge in Matamoros, Mexico. The U.S. government will expand its policy requiring asylum seekers to wait outside the country in one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Twenty-three House members and eight senators are urging the Biden administration to, once again, terminate the “Remain in Mexico” program that jeopardizes asylum-seekers’ lives by keeping them in Mexico.

Biden ended the policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols when he took office, but a federal judge in Texas ordered it reinstated. The U.S. Supreme Court denied a Biden administration request for an emergency stay.

“MPP does not represent our values as a country and should be permanently discarded along with the many other unlawful Trump administration policies designed to punish and deter refugees from seeking safety. The court orders leave ample room for your administration to ensure MPP never again puts another person in harm’s way,” the lawmakers headed by U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, wrote to President Biden.

The lawmakers are asking Biden to re-terminate MPP and to state he will decline to reimplement the policy.

“The horrors of MPP are well-documented. During its implementation from January 2019 to early 2021, non-profit groups tracked over 1,500 public reports of rape, kidnapping, torture, trafficking, and other crimes carried out against asylum-seekers and migrants sent back to Mexico under the policy,” the lawmakers said. “Since you took office and continued the Trump administration’s unlawful Title 42 policy, which also forcibly returns people to harm in Mexico, there have been another 6,356 reports of violent attacks against migrants expelled or blocked in Mexico.”

Title 42 is a public health order allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to quickly expel newly arrived unauthorized migrants to prevent cross-border spread of COVID-19.

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