US Senators Wyden, Merkley and colleagues condemn re-enforcement of “stay in Mexico” policy; Urge the Biden-Harris administration to reverse program expansion


Although lawmakers understand that the reimplementation is required by court order, the expansion of the program was not necessary

December 24, 2021 – Washington, DC – American senses Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined colleagues this week to express their deep disappointment with the reimplementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program, and strongly urged the Biden-Harris administration to reverse course on the expansion of the program.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

The reimplementation of the MPP subjects the most vulnerable asylum seekers to a program that Secretary Mayorkas ended for imposing “unjustifiable human costs”.

“We are particularly disappointed with your administration’s decision to expand this program to new populations such as Haitian migrants, to limit access to a lawyer to a 24-hour detention period, and to extend to other entry points into areas where shelters may not have capacity,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “We are also concerned that the administration has not announced any plans to prioritize the treatment of migrants placed in MPPs under the previous administration who still remain in Mexico, many of whom have been awaiting hearings for years. These choices suggest that your administration has made the decision to normalize and expand a cruel policy of “deterrence” that does not really address the root causes of migration and which, in fact, has led to increased recidivism rates. migrants.

When last implemented, “Stay in Mexico” denied approximately 68,000 people the opportunity to prepare their immigration case in the United States. There have also been more than 1,500 publicly reported cases of violence against people returned to Mexico under the program, including cases of rape, kidnapping and murder.

Lawmakers strongly condemned the current administration for following in the Trump administration’s footsteps by promising to resolve cases in 180 days, a promise that immigration courts will not be able to meet given their current backlog in cases. business. They urged the administration to prioritize cases of individuals who have been waiting in Mexico for more than two years.

“Finally, we call on the administration and DHS to stop relying on this xenophobic policy and prioritize expanding legal pathways to the United States and protecting refugees in the Western Hemisphere. Until strong legal avenues are available, the United States must restore safe and orderly access to our asylum system and stop returning at-risk asylum seekers in violation of our laws,” lawmakers sued. “After four years of cruel, exclusionary and anti-immigrant policies, the return to failed deterrence policies will not solve regional migration.”

The letter was led by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, DN.J., and U.S. Representative Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, and along with Wyden and Merkley was co-signed by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Ben Ray Luján, DN.M., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Cory Booker, DN.J., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Martin Heinrich, DN.M., and Ed Markey, D-Mass. In the House of Representatives, the letter was signed by Reps. Adriano Espaillat, DN.Y.), Grace Napolitano, D-California, Jimmy Gomez, D-California, Juan Vargas, D-California, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN .Y., Raúl Grijalva, D-Arizona, Albio Sires, DN.J., Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, Eleanor Holmes Norton, DD.C., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Norma Torres, D-Calif. , Jesús G. “Chuy” García, D-Ill., Jim McGovern, D-Mass., Grace Meng, DN.Y., Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, D-Ga., Nanette Diaz Barragán, D-Calif ., Linda T. Sánchez, D-Calif., Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif. , Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., Marilyn Strickland, D-Wash., Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, and J. Luis Correa, D-Calif.

The full text of the letter is here.
Source: Senator Ron Wyden


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